Saint Mary’s Gaels Crash The Pepperdine Waves


After facing potentially the worst officiated game in the history of McKeon Pavilion last Saturday night, the Saint Mary’s Gaels remained home in the fifth of a six-game homestand taking on the Pepperdine Waves Thursday night.  The Gaels entered the game with an 11-1 record at home this season and were 14-5 overall. Pepperdine entered the game matching their best overall and WCC record in nine years with 12 wins overall and 5 conference wins. The Gaels emerged on top Thursday night with another hard fought victory  80-74.

The Gaels opened up with a James Walker III layup at 19:24 taking the first lead 2-0. By the first media timeout at 14:40 the Gaels had the lead 10-5. Five of their points had been put up by Brad Waldow.

With 10:51 in the half the Gaels remained in the lead, 18-13. It must be noted that only three total fouls had been called.  Stephen Holt nailed a 3-pointer at 10:10 bring the Gaels up 19-13.  Beau Levesque followed with a lay-up upping the Gaels lead to 10.

With just more than four minutes remaining in the half, both Carter and Levesque had two fouls. Somehow, again, Paul McCoy made it into the game for Jordan Giusti. The question is why? Although there is potential in McCoy, he has done nothing offensively for the Gaels for most of the season. At least Giusti is solid as a rock on defense and puts up some points as well.

With 2:59 remaining in the half, Levesque returned, McCoy stayed in with the Gaels up 38-31. Off two free throws from Jeremy Major, Pepperdine cut the Gael lead to five with 2:50 in the half.

A Stephen Holt dunk with two seconds left closed the half.  This sent the Waves to the locker room down 40-35.

For the half the Gaels went 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) from the floor and were a solid 5-for-12 (41.7 percent) from behind the arc. The Waves went 14-for-28 (50.0 percent) from the floor and were 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) from threes.

On the officiating end, in a much better called half, 11 total fouls were called. Seven of the 11 of the fouls were on the Gaels.

In the second half the Waves would not be crashed as they cut the lead to just one, 45-44, with 17:40 to play.

By 16:02, the Gaels slowly tried to get back a solid lead and were up 48-44.

Off of Brad Waldow’s two free throws at 14:26, the Gaels were back up 52-45. Kerry Carter followed with a slam dunk off a steal with 14:01.  That was followed by a Giusti steal, who was fouled. Before the Waves knew what hit them they were back down by 10, 55-45.  The Gaels continued playing solid basketball and remained up by 10, 57-47 with 11:24 remaining in the game.

The waves again would not give up. They battled back again and cut the Gael lead to just three with 10:13 to play.  Once again, with 9:08 to play the Waves cut the Gael lead to just one point.  The hard fought battle continued as the Gaels held onto their lead. They went back up by 6, 66-60 with 6:17 to play.  The Gaels got back up 71-63 with 2:54 left forcing a Pepperdine time out.

The Gaels finally sent the Waves out to sea and pulled off another solid, but hard fought win.

For the night the Gaels finished, 24-for-57 (42.1 percent) from the floor. They went 6-for-20 (30.0 percent) from 3-point land. Leading the way was Waldow with 21. Holt finished with 20. Carter had 18 and Levesque had 13.

For the Waves, they went  26-for-59 (44.1 percent) from the floor and were 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) from 3. Brendan Lane led the way with 18. Malcom Brooks had 11. Jeremy Major and Austin Mills each put up 10.

The second half officiating again tonight proved to be sub-par. Unbelievably, 32-second half fouls were called. The officials need to learn how to let players play. Several questionable fouls again occurred. Although not nearly as bad as last sat night, officiating Thursday night, at least in the second half, was awful.

The Gaels next face Loyola Marymount Saturday at 3 p.m. Pacific. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Bay Area.