AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Saint Mary's men's basketball team saw its season come to a close Thursday with the same fighting spirit it has carried all season, as the No. 11-seed Gaels fell 54-52 to No. 6 Memphis in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Mary's finishes the season 28-7, the sixth straight year with 25 or more wins for the Gaels. Saint Mary's was 14-2 in West Coast Conference play for the second straight season.
Brad Waldow led the way for Saint Mary's on Thursday, scoring 17 points. Matthew Dellavedova scored 10 points in the final game of record-breaking Gaels career. Mitchell Young also wrapped up his SMC career with a nine-point performance.
Joe Jackson led Memphis with 14 points. Adonis Thomas and Tarik Black each added 12.
Eividas Petrulis gave Saint Mary's the hope it needed late, banking home a 3-pointer with two seconds left to make it 54-52. A Memphis turnover gave the Gaels the ball back, but a Dellavedova 3-pointer went long and the Gaels fell two points short.
Trailing 32-22 at halftime, Saint Mary's turned up the defense to begin the second half and get back into the game.
The Gaels held the Tigers to 2 for 11 shooting from the floor to begin the half, cutting the Memphis lead to five with just under 13 minutes left.
The Tigers eventually built the lead back to eight, with a dunk by D.J. Stephens making the score 41-33 with 9:12 left.
That lead wouldn't deter Saint Mary's from making its bid for a comeback. First, Young nailed a 3-pointer to narrow the gap. Then, Young's layup with 5:59 remaining made it 44-40 Memphis.
But Memphis would again respond, pushing the lead back to nine with just over three minutes to play.
Saint Mary's trailed at the break in part because of an icy 31 percent half from the floor.
For most of the half, the Gaels had trouble getting the offense going, with the Tigers' ball pressure forcing the Gaels into tough shots.
That enabled Memphis to go on a 10-0 run, with a 3-pointer from Jackson making it 19-11 Tigers with 7:23 left in the half. At that point, Saint Mary's was just 5 for 17 from the floor, compared to Memphis' 8 for 16.
Waldow kept the Gaels in it offensively, going 4 for 5 in the half to lead Saint Mary's with nine points. The Gaels couldn't get going from 3-point distance, going 0-for-6 in the first half.
Saint Mary's reached the round of 64 with a 67-54 win over Middle Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Dellavedova led the way in the victory, scoring 22 points.