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Saint Mary'es College Athletics

Men's Basketball

Stephen Holt will see his role continue to increase as he makes his way back from injury.
Stephen Holt will see his role continue to increase as he makes his way back from injury.
MBK | WCC Play Tips Off With Visit From Loyola Marymount
Release: Wednesday 01/02/2013 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- If the Saint Mary's men's basketball team was searching for some momentum to carry into West Coast Conference play, it certainly found the answer with Monday's thrilling 70-69 win over Harvard.

Now, the Gaels will try to keep those good feelings going as they host Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at SMCGaels.com or through the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx, and a live audio stream of the game featuring the radio duo of Alex Jensen and Phil Benson will be available on SMCGaels.com.

The game is the first WCC Game of the Week this season, and will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet California. The veteran Bay Area broadcasting duo of Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini will have the call.  Saturday's content will also be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Southern California and ROOT Sports in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.  A half-hour pregame show will be televised throughout each of the regional networks.

Saint Mary's (11-3) enjoyed one of the most exciting games in recent history as the Gaels rallied from 18 points down to nip the Crimson. Mitchell Young was the hero of the day, sinking two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to give Saint Mary's its only lead of the game.

The Harvard win capped a successful three-game stretch for the Gaels against opponents from the Northeast. An 82-59 win over Rhode Island, combined with a 78-62 victory over Yale and the triumph over Harvard have the Gaels a perfect three for three on their current four-game homestand.

Young has enjoyed consistent play throughout the homestand, averaging 11 points and 6.7 rebounds over the three-game stretch. His 16-point performance against Harvard was a season high, and he has also gone a perfect 5 for 5 from the free throw line.

Another consistent performer of late has been Beau Levesque. The Gaels' only player to score in double digits in each of the last three games, Levesque has racked up 34 points and 15 rebounds since the homestand began.

Loyola Marymount enters its WCC opener on Thursday against BYU with a 7-6 overall record, as Max Good's club looks to duplicate and even improve on last year's 11-5 conference mark.

Much the same as last year, Anthony Ireland is the leader for the Lions this season. He entered conference play as the WCC's leading scorer at 21.3 points per game. The junior point guard from Waterbury, Conn. was named to several preseason watch lists and was an all-WCC preseason pick.

The Lions used a recent two-game homestand to climb back above .500, scoring wins over Morgan State and Cal State Bakersfield. Ireland was the catalyst in both wins, scoring 27 points in each victory.

Last season, the Gaels and Lions split their season series, with each team winning on the road. Saint Mary's owns the all-time series lead, with a 79-54 record against Loyola Marymount. Before the Lions' win last season, Saint Mary's had won the last 11 regular season matchups.

Saturday is a "White Out" game, which means fans are encouraged to wear white to show support for the team. The WCC T-Shirt Drive is also still underway, and fans can drop off their "lightly worn" shirts in the McKeon Pavilion lobby.