The Gaels return home tonight after a great two game winning streak on the road, and look to move into a third place WCC conference tie with San Diego both at 4-1. BYU is at 5-1 and Gonzaga sits on top at 4-0 in the WCC.
St. Mary’s, now 15-4 overall held Portland to its lowest point total of the season and lowest point score ever against St. Mary’s in their 60-38 triumph.
Matthew Dellavedova’s buzzer-beater three-point off balance shot set the tone for the road trip. Dellavedova had 18 points and eight assists at BYU and 11 points and six assists against the Pilots. Leading the Gaels in scoring in both games was Steven Holt. Holt had 22 at BYU and 13 at Portland. Holt has scored 74 points in his last four games.
Last year, the Gaels won both meetings against San Diego. Their final meeting was a 84-73 win with Holt having 23 points. Overall, The Gaels lead the series over San Diego 38-35.
Again, tonight defense will play a key role for St. Mary’s. The Toreros have a pair of fast guards in Johnny Dee and Christopher Anderson that will need to be slowed down for the Gael win. “If we can control those two guards, we will give ourselves a great chance to come out of this game with a big league win,” said Beau Levesque.
Defensively, against the Pilots the Gaels managed 11 steals. Levesque stepped up his defensive play and led the Gaels with four steals. Look for a strong offense and defensive performance from Levesque tonight.
San Diego sits at 11-9 overall. They suffered a tough loss at BYU last week 74-57. For the Toreros their leading scorer is guard Johnny Dee averaging 15 points per game. Christopher Anderson, also in the guard position, follows him with an average of 9.6 points per game.
San Diego got off to a perfect 4-0 start in the WCC. They beat Portland, San Francisco, Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount. Their streak came to a halt last week at BYU. Dee hit his season average 15 points in the loss.
Defensively the Toreros have been tough this season. They are giving up an average of 64 points per game which puts them in second place defensively in the conference. Possibly problematic for the Gaels, is that the Toreros lead the conference in 3-point scoring defense. Opponents are averaging just 30.6 percent from behind the line. The Gaels will need to find a way to counter this if they are to remain hot from down town.
Tonight’s action can be seen live at 8pm. It will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Bay Area. A broadcast can be heard via smcgaels.com. with Alex Jensen behind the Mic.