Courtesy: Tod Fierner

Gaels Mount Furious Comeback To Edge Harvard 70-69

The St. Mary’s Gaels mounted a furious second half comeback to overcome a double digit lead by Harvard, and won with two clutch free throws by Mitchell Young with 1.1 seconds left in the game.  The Harvard Crimson (8 – 4) managed to build a 35 – 21 first half lead, thanks to perimeter shooting by Siyani Chambers and yeoman-like work in the paint by Jonah Travis.

The game came down to St. Mary’s (11 – 3) final possession, as Harvard threw the ball away on their previous possession.  The Gaels’ Matthew Dellavedova missed a running, contested bank shot with just seconds left , but teammate Mitchell Young grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled on the put back attempt, before knocking down the two game-winning free throws.

Travis led Harvard with 19 points, followed by Chambers’ 16 points, including 5-of-5 treys.  Wesley Saunders added 14 points, and Laurent Rivard chipped in nine points, including 3-of-4 from 3-point distance.  Rivard grabbed six rebounds and Saunders garnered five.  Chambers led the Crimson in assists with seven in a gallant, but losing effort.

Harvard shot 52.1% (25-of-48) from the field, 60% (9-of-15) behind the 3-point line, and 58.8% (10-of-17) from the free throw line.

St. Mary’s was led by Young’s 16 points, followed by James Walker III’s dozen points.  Reserves Beau Levesque and Stephen Holt came off the bench to record 10 points each.  Dellavedova struggled from the field, making only 1-of-13 shots from the field and scoring four points, but it was his leadership and nine assists which paved the road to victory for the Gaels.  Young also led the Gaels on the boards with eight rebounds, followed by Walker’s seven caroms and Brad Waldow’s six rebounds.

The Gaels shot only 40.0% (24-of 60) from the field, 37.5% (6-of-16) behind the 3-point arc, and 80.0% (16 – 20) from the charity stripe.  The Gaels made up for a lackluster shooting night by grabbing 32 rebounds to Harvard’s 26.  But it came down to two made free throws which ended up being the difference in the game.

St. Mary’s hosts LMU January 5 at McKeon Pavilion to kick off the 2013 West Coast Conference season.  Tip off is 1:30 pm Pacific time.

Tags: Beau Levesque College Basketball Harvard Crimson James Walker III Jonah Travis Laurent Rivard Matthew Dellavedova Mitchell Young NCAA Saint Mary's Gaels Siyani Chambers Stephen Holt Wesley Saunders

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