The Gaels head to the south bay tonight to face long time rival Broncos. The Gaels remain in second place in the WCC at 8-1 behind Gonzaga at 8-0. The Broncos are 5-4 in the WCC and sit in a fourth place tie with San Diego.
St. Mary’s, now 19-4 overall and is creeping up the rankings hoping for a top 25 spot. Tonight watch for Senior Guard Matthew Dellavedova whom which the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today is among 12 finalists for the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Dellavedova is coming off a solid performance against Portland where he put up 23 points and went 4-6 from behind the arc. Season wise, he is averaging 16.3 points per game. Behind Dellavedova is Steven Holt who is averaging 11.9 points per game. Brad Waldow has been a strong offensive force putting up an average of 9.7 points. As a team, the Gaels are averaging 77.7 points on offense which has them ranked 17th in the country.
So far this season the Gaels have been impressive from their bench. Leading the way is Beau Levesque who is also in double digit scoring with 10.5. Jordan Giusti put up 2-3 threes in the second half against Portland last Saturday night with seven total points and has been strong on defense.
St. Mary’s defense and a continued strong bench performance will be big components in tonight’s game. Coach Bennett has made defense a strong priority in the Gaels game plans. The Gaels defense has given up an average of 52.6 points in their last five games. Limiting the Broncos strong offense will key for the Gaels tonight.
Santa Clara is 17-7 overall this year. Most impressive is their 26th ranked offense averaging 76.7 points per game. Leading the Broncos is Kevin Foster who has been scoring 19.0 points per game. Next is Marc Trasolini averaging 15.8. The Broncos are also strong in the assist department. Team wise, they are averaging 16.1 per game which ranks them 16th in the nation.
The Broncos are tough to beat on their home floor. This season they are 10-4 with conference loses to only BYU and Gonzaga. The Broncos have won 5-6 of their last games. Their latest loss comes at BYU breaking their five game streak losing 96-79.
Last season the Broncos lost both games against SMC. The two teams last faced each other in Moraga on Feb 12, 2012. The Broncos suffered an 82-67 loss.
Tonight’s action can be seen live at 8pm. It will be broadcast on ESPN 2. A Broadcast can be heard via smcgaels.com. with Alex Jensen as always behind the Mic.