Hawaii has not been kind to the Saint Mary’s Gaels this week; it was more paradise lost as the Gaels fell short again Monday night in the final seconds of the game to Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic consolation bracket, 76-74.
It was another hard-fought battle Monday night for Saint Mary’s as they took on Hawaii. The Warriors came to do battle against the Gaels. The Gaels scored first off a Brad Waldow 2-pointer25 seconds into the game. That would be the Gaels’ biggest lead of the half. Hawaii steadily held onto a slight lead and were up 19-13 with 12:31 in the half. Then came the Gaels. They were able to tie the score 21-21 with 10:33 to play and again tied it up 37-37 with 2:04 left in the half. The Gaels got up 39-38 with 1:47 left, but were unable to stop the charge of the Warriors and went to the locker room trailing 43-39 at the half.
The key issue for the Gaels in the first half was turnovers. With 6:49 to play the Gaels had turned the ball over 10 times. This was way above their 12-turnover per game average.
For the half, on the one positive note, the Gaels outshot the Warriors percentage wise. SMC was 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) from the floor while Hawaii went 13-for-25 (52.0 percent).
In the second half, the Gaels fought hard again, but could never quite pull ahead to get the win. Hawaii was able to pull ahead 48-39 with 17:24 to play. The Gaels stayed in the game and tied the score 63-63 with 6:24 to play. With 1:26 to play, off a Beau Levesque 3-pointer, the game would again be tied 72-72. The Warriors got a quick two and went up 74-72. Beau Levesque answered back hitting a 2-pointer and drawing a foul. The 94-percent free-throw shooter missed and the game was tied 74-74. With two seconds left, Christian Standhardinger of Hawaii hit a game-winning jumper stunning the Gaels by a final score of 76-74.
For the night the Gaels finished 26-for-49 (53.1 percent) from the floor and were 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) from behind the arc. Brad Waldow led the way with 17. Waldow has been in double-digits in every game this season. James Walker III had 16, Beau Levesque had 14 and Kerry Carter had 12.
The Warriors finished 25-for-50 (50 percent) from the floor and were 4-for-13 (30.8 percent) from 3. Christian Standhardinger had 22. Issac Fotu had 13, Brandon Spearman had 12 and off the bench Aaron Valdez had 10.
The Gaels once again need to regroup and refocus on just winning games. Although outperformed the last two nights, the Gaels have enough depth to be very comptitive this season. SMC falls to 9-2. The Warriors move to 8-3.
Saint Mary’s closes out play at the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas Day, facing George Mason (5-6) in the seventh-place game. Tipoff is 11:30 a.m. Pacific.