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Rob Jones and the Gaels continue to set program-bests in the national rankings.
Rob Jones and the Gaels continue to set program-bests in the national rankings.
MBK | Gaels Continue To Move Up National Rankings
Release: Friday 02/06/2012 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's men's basketball team continues to make a national splash this week, rising in the major national polls to program-best rankings.

The Gaels are ranked 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 16th by the Associated Press.  The no. 13 ranking is the highest-ever in either of the two major polls for a Saint Mary's men's basketball team.  The team's appearance at 16 by the AP is its best in that poll since 1959 and the third-highest ever.

Saint Mary's enters Thursday's West Coast Conference showdown at second-place Gonzaga with a 22-2 overall record and a perfect 11-0 mark in league play.  The Gaels have won 12-straight games and 20 of their last 21.

Thursday's game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (PT) with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action.  A live audio stream will also be available on SMCGaels.com with Mike Bouve on the microphone.

Saint Mary's has been included in the two major national polls for four-straight weeks.  The Gaels entered the rankings on Jan. 16 at 23rd by the coaches and 24 by the AP.  Since that time, SMC has won five-straight games and has risen 10 spots in the rankings.

Prior to this season, the program enjoyed a previous high of 18th in the coaches poll on Jan. 26, 2009.  The Gaels earned top-20 rankings by the AP in 1989 and 1959 with a best-ever ranking of 14th in the season-opening poll of the 1958-59 season.