The Saint Mary’s Gaels are unstoppable at home this season. After Sunday night’s 93-65 victory over Eastern Washington, the Gaels are a perfect 7-0. Eastern Washington falls to 5-3.
Eastern Washington was no match tonight at Saint Mary’s and never really got into the game. Poor shooting and a dismal performance from behind the arc kept the Eagles grounded. The Eagles are now 0-5 against Saint Mary’s in Moraga and 2-6 overall against the Gaels.
In the first half, the Gaels would trail one time. With 18:54 they were down 1-0. With 11:33 to go in the half, Kerry Carter hit a 3, forcing an Eagle timeout with the Gaels up 17-7. The Gaels built the first half lead to as high as 21 with 2:25 to play up 40-19. The Eagles were sent to the locker room down 41-26.
Statistically the Gaels went 15-for-35 (42.8 percent) from the floor, 5-for-12 (41.6 percent) from behind the arc and a dismal 6-for16 (37.5 percent) on free throws. That was their worst first half performance of the year from free throws. The Eagles were 9-for-28 (32.1 percent) from the floor a disastrous 1-for-11 (9 percent) from 3 and were just 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) on free throws.
The Eagles never were able to recover from both the solid offense and defense of the Gaels in the second half. The Eagles had been averaging 81.6 points per game, which ranked them 49th in the nation. The Gael defense not only held them to their second lowest scoring of the season but held the 27th-ranked team in shooting percentage to way below their season average. Again coach Randy Bennett’s work on a strong defense continues to pay off as teams struggle against what is becoming a powerhouse St. Mary’s team.
For the night, the Gaels went 31-for-65 (47.6 percent) from the floor and finished the night 8-for-17 (47.0 percent) from 3. Leading the way again tonight for the Gaels was Brad Waldow with 24. Four other players hit double digits tonight. Beau Levesque had 14. James Walker had 12. Stephen Holt had 11 and off the bench, Kerry Carter put up an impressive career-high 18.
The Eagles went 23-for-59 (38.9 percent) from the floor and were 4-for-23 (17.3 percent) from behind the arc. Leading the way for the Eagles was Tyler Harvey with 20. Drew Brandon had 14. The duo made more than half of the Eagles points tonight.
The Gaels next face their first road challenge as they travel northeast to face Boise State Saturday night. The action starts at 7 p.m. Pacific.