In front of a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd at McKeon Pavilion, the Saint Mary’s Gaels took on the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga just fell out the top 25 this week.
In the regular-season finale for both teams, the Gaels fell hard, losing 75-47, in a game in which Saint Mary’s did just about everything poorly.
The Gaels opened up with an interesting lineup, playing seniors Matt Hodgson and Paul McCoy for Brad Waldow and either Kerry Carter or Jordan Giusti. And what a start it was as Beau Levesque hit a 3 from downtown under pressure, giving the Saint Mary’s the first lead. The Zags answered with a 8-0 run, stunning the Gaels at the first media time out. Off the timeout, Gonzaga scored another four in a row, increasing their lead. Waldow broke the five-plus minute dry spell with a reverse layup. With 11:42 left in the half Gonzaga continued to dominate the Gaels and went up 17-5 forcing a Gael timeout. This was off a 17-2 Gonzaga run. The Gaels continued to struggle offensively through the half.
Nothing good can be said about the first half for the Gaels other than it ended. In a half the Gaels would just like to forget, they went into the locker room trailing 42-22.
When asked about the struggle the Gaels offense has had against the zone defense, Jordan Giusti said that the team is, “Already in the zone! We just simply need to get it done!” I think that says it all.
In the first half the Gaels were disastrous from the floor going 5-for-27 (18.5 percent). They were 2-for-8 (25 percent) from 3.
Gonzaga went 17-for-32 (53.1 percent) from the floor and was 1-for-4 (25 percent) from 3.
In the second half, the Gaels just couldn’t change the momentum. They fell down by 30, 57-27, with 11:57 to play.
The Gaels never got back into the game. They just lost badly.
Some changes the Gaels need to consider is to PLAY Eividas Petrulis. He can hit from downtown and needs to play a role in the Gaels offense. Number two would be to play Hodgson and Waldow at the same time. Get some solid size inside.
For the night the Gaels went 12-for-52 (23.1 percent) from the floor compared to Gonzaga, which went 32-for-57 (56.1 percent)
The Gaels next head east to Las Vegas where they need to gear up for the West Coast Conference tournament. Any postseason play depends on how well the Gaels fare in the tournament. They finish the season 21-10 overall and 11-7 in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga won the conference, closing out 15-3 and 25-6 overall.