MORAGA, Calif. -- After playing four games in quick succession to begin the season, the Saint Mary's men's basketball team got a chance this week to hit the reset button, get back in the gym and use a bit of practice time to refine and revise its game.
The Gaels will try to put those adjustments to good use when they host Alcorn State at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Live streaming video of the game will be available through the Gaels Live player on SMCGaels.com, and live statistics will also be available through the website. Tickets for the game can be purchased by clicking the Tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
Saint Mary's enters this weekend's action with a perfect 4-0 record after surviving four tough opponents right off the bat. Wins over Louisiana Tech, Akron, North Dakota State and Drake should stand as important resume builders later this season, and all four teams offered a unique challenge that the Gaels had to overcome.
The most consistent part of Saint Mary's game so far has come from the center position. Junior Brad Waldow, an all-West Coast Conference Preseason Team selection, has led the Gaels in scoring three times already and comes into Sunday's game averaging 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
One of the more surprising developments of the early season has come in the backcourt, where teams have attempted to extend some form of full-court pressure against the Gaels in each game. Saint Mary's has largely thwarted those advances, and owns nearly a 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio through four games.
Leading the way in the backcourt has been the tandem of Stephen Holt and Jordan Giusti. Holt, also an All-WCC preseason pick, ranks third on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and leads the team in assists at 5.5 a game. Giusti has continued to live up to his reputation as a shutdown defender, and is beginning to add some scoring punch as well, setting a career-high with 12 points against Akron.
The Gaels also continue to be a force at home against non-conference opponents. A 67-63 win over Drake last Saturday ran Saint Mary's home win streak against non-WCC foes to 22. The Gaels will play five more non-conference home games this season.
Alcorn State makes the trip from Lorman, Miss. to Moraga carrying a 3-1 record. Head coach Luther Riley's group dropped its opener at Creighton, but has responded with wins over Tougaloo College, Mississippi College and Dillard University.
6-foot-4 sophomore forward LeAntwan Luckett leads the Braves in scoring at 12.3 points per game, but he isn't the only Braves player averaging in double figures. Forward Octavius Brown averages 11.5 points per contest and guard Twan Oakley checks in at 10.5.
Sunday's game is the first ever meeting between Saint Mary's and Alcorn State.
After taking on Alcorn State, Saint Mary's will host Murray State on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the annual Shamrock Office Solutions Classic. Tickets to that game are also available on SMCGaels.com or through the SMC Athletic Ticket Office.