MORAGA, Calif. -- After winning 12 of its last 13 games and a 16-game win streak against unranked opponents, the Saint Mary's men's basketball team moved into the national rankings today.
The Gaels debut at 23rd in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll, their first ranking in the poll since end last season at the number 16 slot. SMC earned 54 votes in the poll to rank just ahead of Akron and Virginia Commonwealth.
Saint Mary's is coming off home victories over BYU and Creighton last week at McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels are 24-5 on the season and clinched the runner-up spot in the West Coast Conference with a 12-2 record with two games remaining.
One of just five programs in the nation to win at least 25 games in each of the previous five seasons, the Gaels travel to Mailbu to play Pepperdine on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. (ESPNU). SMC hosts longtime rival Santa Clara on Saturday evening in the final regular-season home game for Gael seniors Matthew Dellavedova, Paul McCoy, Kyle Rowley, Tim Williams and Mitchell Young.
A limited number of tickets are available for Saturday's game by visiting the tickets page on SMCGaels.com or calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.