MORAGA, Calif. -- For every basket made by the Saint Mary's men's basketball team on Thursday against Gonzaga, it seemed like a capacity crowd had a reply.
And, on a few occasions, that same crowd threatened to flat out blow the roof off the place.
Perhaps the most vocal crowd in recent history filled the Moraga gym to see the Gaels take on the Bulldogs.
Yes, the result wasn't what the heavily partisan crowd was looking for, as the Gaels fell 77-60. But that wasn't for lack of support, as Saint Mary's fans came early and stayed loud through the majority of the game.
Some fans even lined up over two hours early for the game, waiting to get prime general admission seats for the nationally televised contest.
"Awesome crowd. I don't think I've ever seen the gym more packed," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "I just wish we had played a little better and made it a ballgame down the stretch. Awesome environment. You can't find one better than that."
Thursday's game is only the first in a series of high-profile games to be held in Moraga this season. Next Thursday, BYU visits for an 8 p.m. contest with serious postseason ramifications.
Then, Creighton comes to McKeon for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday, as Doug McDermott and the Bluejays take on Saint Mary's in the marquee game of the ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series.
The regular season wraps up on March 2 with a 7 p.m. game against rival Santa Clara. It will be Senior Day for the Gaels, and the last chance for fans to see seniors Matthew Dellavedova, Mitchell Young, Paul McCoy and Kyle Rowley in a Saint Mary's uniform.
A limited number of tickets are available to each game, and can be purchased by clicking the Tickets link on SMCGaels.com. Fans can also buy tickets by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.