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Saint Mary'es College Athletics

Men's Basketball

James Walker III scored 14 points in his return to Logan.
James Walker III scored 14 points in his return to Logan.
MBK | Gaels Remain Undefeated With Gutsy Road Win
Release: Wednesday 11/15/2012 
by SMC Athletics

LOGAN, Utah - Matthew Dellavedova and Stephen Holt scored the Gaels' final 16 points to carry Saint Mary's to a hard-fought 67-58 win over host Utah State tonight at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Dellavedova ended-up with a game-high 21 points as the Gaels moved to 2-0 on the season, while the Aggies dropped to 1-1.  Utah State was led by junior forward Jarred Shaw's 17 points and game-high 15 rebounds.  Shaw sat out last season after transferring from Oklahoma State.

"This was a great win," said SMC head coach Randy Bennett.  "This is a tough place to come in and play.  They have an outstanding program and we have a ton of respect for them.

"Our players understood that and they were very focused coming in.  It was a funny game.  They beat us so bad on the boards and inside, then we dominated on the perimeter.  It was a good thing we shot the ball well.  We were pretty good offensively.  Defensively, we were good but we got smashed on the boards.  We have a lot to work on, particularly rebounding."

The Gaels return to action Sunday with a 5 p.m. tipoff against Eastern Washington.  Tickets are on sale through the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx (4689) or by visiting the tickets link on SMCGaels.com.  Since there is no television coverage of the game, a live audio stream and real-time statistical updates will be provided on SMCGaels.com.

Holt ended the game with 16 points, while James Walker III, making his return to Logan for the first time since playing for the Aggies as a freshman, scored 14 points and nabbed a team-high three steals.

Uncharacteristically, Saint Mary's was outrebounded by a 49-30 margin, but countered with a 67 percent first half shooting effort that included a 9-for-22 effort from behind the 3-point line.  The traditionally tough Gaels defense limited the Aggies to 32.3 percent from the field and just 3-for-16 from outside the arc.

The Gaels started slow, falling behind by six points when USU's Danny Berger connected on a 3-point field goal to give the Aggies a 9-3 just four minutes into the game.  SMC clawed back over the next three minutes and tied the game at 12-apiece when Walker III connected on a fastbreak layup.

The two teams traded the lead until Beau Levesque gave the Gaels a lead they would not relinquish when he made the team's fourth 3-pointer of the game with 10:27 left in the half.  SMC led by as many as five points during the half before settling on a 3-point advantage at the break.

The contest served as the return game after the two teams played in 2011 at McKeon Pavilion in the Sears BracketBusters.