LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Junior guards Stephen Holt and Jorden Page combined for 28 points and the Saint Mary's men's basketball team overcame a tough night at the charity stripe to earn a 61-50 road win at Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Saint Mary's moved to 22-5 on the season and 11-2 in West Coast Conference play. The Gaels are in sole possession of second-place in the league standings and host 3rd-place BYU Thursday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Tickets are available by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx or by visiting the tickets link on SMCGaels.com.
Saint Mary's did not enjoy a good outing at the free throw line, making just 17 of its 35 attempts. But, the Gaels defense held LMU (8-18, 1-12) to just 30 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Lions' leading scorer Anthony Ireland went just 2-for-11 from the field, but scored a game-high 19 points after going 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
"We didn't shoot free throws well," said SMC head coach Randy Bennett. "I thought we played well defensively, competed well. Our defense got us through. We put such an emphasis on defense and rebounding. There are nights when you are going to go 17 of 35 from the line, turn the ball over and don't shoot it well. So, thank goodness we defended."
Junior guard Stephen Holt led the Gaels with 16 points, while classmate Jorden Page added 12 points and a team-high four assists.
After trailing by a slight margin for most of the early portion of the game, the Gaels took the lead for good on a 3-point field goal by Beau Levesque at 9-7 with 12:50 left in the first half.
The Gaels stretched their lead to a game-high 21 points when Matthew Dellavedova made a pair of free throws to push the score to 55-34 with 5:04 remaining on the clock.
The Lions then outscored SMC 14-2 over the next four minutes to close within nine points at 57-48.