The Saint Mary’s Gaels returned home to McKeon Pavilion Monday night to face a non-conference game against NAIA foe William Jessup. This marked game four of the Gael head coach Randy Bennett’s five-game suspension. In a highly anticipated “easy win” for the Gaels they were more focused on facing Bay Area rivals Santa Clara Thursday and USF on Saturday. They ended the night with a dominating win 84-46.
Unique Monday night was the start for both Paul McCoy and Matt Hodgson for the Gaels. The question is why not Brad Waldow and Stephen Holt at least to start the game?
In the first half, the Gaels opened with a missed 3 from Kerry Carter and a Hodgson rebound with him being fouled. Hodgson missed both and the game was 0-0 with 18:35 to play.
After more than two minutes of scoreless basketball, at 17:45 Corey Clement of William Jessup opened with a 2-pointer and gave his team a 2-0 lead. The Gaels fell down 5-0 with 16:15 to play in an anything but easy start.
Brad Waldow entered at the media time out at 15:39 trying to get the game going for the Gaels as they remained scoreless. Perhaps the Gaels needed to play their normal starters and then substitute others once they had a lead.
The Gaels finally scored at 15:23 off a Kerry Carter 3-pointer. This was followed by a James Walker III, 3-pointer, which marked a 6-0 run for the Gaels and a time out for the Warriors.
By the next media time out at 11:43 the Gaels were up 14-8. The Gaels continued to build their lead and were up 22-9 with 7:45 in the half. The Gaels had outscored the Warriors 22-4 in just over 8 minutes of play.
At the end of the first half the Gaels sent the Warriors to the locker room down 36-20. The lead could have very well been higher had St. Mary’s played their best players.
Statistically for the half the Gaels went 13-27 (48.1 percent) from the floor and were 6-17 (35.3 percent) from behind the arc. The Gaels are still struggling from the line and went just 4-8 (50.0 percent) Free throws will become a key factor in future games. The Gaels MUST improve this aspect of their game if they are going to continue winning. Most impressive was Kerry Carter who had 19 first half points.
The warriors had a dismal first half putting up just 6-23 (26.1 percent) from the floor and they went 4-13 (30.8 percent) from threes.
In the second half the Gaels continued to build their lead and were up 20; 44-24 with 15:43 to play. The Gaels continued the run scoring 10 unanswered points building their lead to 30; up 54-24 with 13:08 to play. Now was the time to play the non-starters.
The Gaels dominated the second half proving the Warriors were no match for them. After a tough few minutes at the start the Gaels picked up the victory and move to 12-4 overall.
For the game, the Gaels went 28-51 (54.9 percent) from the floor and were 11-24 (44.8 percent) from three-point land. They improved from the line and finished 17-24 (70.8 percent). Leading the way was Carter who finished at 19. Off the bench, Treaven Duffy had 13, Brad Waldow and Eividas Petrulis had 11.
For the Warriors they finished 13-48 (27.1 percent) from the floor and went 7-27 (25.9 percent) from behind the arc. They only had one player in double digits tonight. Caleb Richey had 11.
The Gaels stay at home and next face Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Thursday night. Tip off is at 7:00pm Pacific.