The Gaels picked up their 26th win of the year tonight against the Broncos. This was the last regular season and home game for this year. The Gaels jump up to 26-5 for the season and finished 14-2 (second place in the WCC). Santa Clara falls to 21-10 overall and will finish in fourth place (9-7 in the WCC).
Tonight also marked the day after the NCAA enacted rather severe sanctions against SMC for rather minor recruiting violations. What a great way to finish the year and re-build morale for the Gaels for the upcoming WCC tourney.
The highlight of the night came from senior guard Matthew Dellavedova. With 3:53 remaining in the first half, he hit a two-pointer officially making him St. Mary’s all-time leading scorer.
In the first half tonight both teams came out fighting. Neither team had a break away moment during the 1st half of play. At the end of the half the Gaels were up by one; 36-35.
In the first half the Gaels went 15-32 (46.9%) from the floor and were 3-10 (30%) from three point land. Leading the way in scoring was Mitchell Young with 10 who went a perfect 5-5 from the floor. Jordan page had seven. Matthew Dellavedova had six. The Gaels put up 20 points from the paint and their bench had six.
For the Broncos, they went 11-25 (42.3%) from the floor and were 3-7 (42.9%) from threes. Marc Trasolini led the way for the Broncos with 13. Kevin Foster had seven. The Broncos put up eight points from the paint. Their bench had nine.
In the second half the Gaels slowly built a lead and went up by seven, 55-48 with 10:32 left to play. The Broncos answered by going on a 10-2 run and took a one point lead 58-57 over the Gaels with 8:03 to play. The teams battled back and forth and the Gaels managed to sustain a one point lead 63-62, with 3:53 to play. Then it was all Gaels. The Gaels finished with a solid win, 80-67 off a Tim Williams three-pointer with one second left.
For the Game the Gaels went 24-57 (42.1%) from the floor and 5-20 (25%) from beyond the arc. The Gaels, for the fourth straight game, hit above the 80% mark from the free throw line. They went 27-33 (81.8%)
Leading the way tonight was Matthew Dellavedova. He had 21. Stephen Holt had 13. Mitchell Youn g had 12, and Jordan page hit 10. From the paint tonight the Gaels had 28 while the bench had 17.
The Broncos went 22-56 (39.3%) from the floor and 5-12 (41.7%) from beyond the arc. Trasolini led the way with 21. Foster put up 14. Roquemore had 11 and Clark finished with 10.
The Gaels next head to Las Vegas for the WCC tournament. St Mary’s finishes the year with their sixth straight season of 25+ wins.
The questions become, can the Gaels get by Gonzaga for a repeat WCC win? Have the Gaels done enough this season to earn an at large bid for the NCAA tournament? With 26 solid wins, I do not see how they can be overlooked.