The Gaels got off to a good start tonight taking a one-time 10 point lead in the first half. That lead quickly dwindled when USF went on an 8-0 run with 5:22 remaining in the half. USF turned the tide and headed into the locker room with a 36-35 lead over the Gaels.
The second half again was the turning point for the Gaels. SMC played a solid second half taking charge of the game. The Gaels were able to emerge with a victory 78-72. Gaels move to 2-1 in the WCC. The Dons drop to 0-4.
Going into the game both point guards Matthew Dellavadova and Cody Doolin were tied for the conference lead in assists at 6.4 per game. Tonight favored Dellavodava with six assists. Doolin had just three.
During the first half SMC shot 12-24 from the floor at 50.0%. The Dons went 15-27 at 55.5 %. From three point land the Gaels shot 3-9 at 33.3% while the Dons hit 5-8 at 62.5%.
The second half opened with a 7-0 run led by a three pointer from Dellavedova. St. Mary’s held the lead for the rest of the game. Dellavedova went 5-9 overall tonight, 2-5 coming from three point territory.
Beau Levesque went 4-7 tonight and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. When asked about making adjustments in the second half, Levesque said, “we stuck with our principles and pulled it out in the end”.
For the Dons, Cody Doolin led with 16 points. He was followed by De’End Parker with 15. With two seconds remaining in the game Coach Rex Walters of USF called a surprising time out with the score 76-69 Gaels. Steven Holt answered the time out with a thunderous dunk. De’End Parker threw up a backcourt prayer from ¾ distance and hit nothing but net at the buzzer to end the game.
Final statistics for the Gaels were 25-50 at 50% from the floor and 26-51 at 51% for the Dons. From the free throw lane the Gaels had an impressive 24-27 at 88.9%. The Dons were 11-14 at 78.6%.
The Gaels now go on the road for two games facing BYU on January 16, 2013 and Portland January 18, 2013.