MBK | Big Second Half Run Fuels Comeback Win over USD
Saint Mary's won its 10th straight game of the season after defeating San Diego Saturday night.
MORAGA, Calif. -- In a matchup between the league's most efficient offense and stifling defense, Saint Mary's used a big run in the second half fueled by its own lockdown defense to pull away from the tough San Diego Toreros (12-4, 3-1 WCC), 70-63, for its 10th straight win of the season Saturday night at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary's (14-2, 4-0 WCC) took a big turn in the last 10 minutes of the game after going on a 19-2 run, with 12 points by Emmett Naar giving the Gaels their biggest lead of the night, 58-49. San Diego kept the score as close to two points, but Saint Mary's took charge once again from defensive stops to key buckets by Jock Landale and Cullen Neal to ignite a 67-61 lead.
- SMC forced 14 turnovers and had three players score in double-figures for the game. Naar finished with a season-high 24 points to lead all players, and the Gaels forced USD to no field-goals in the last three minutes of the game for the seven-point win.
- Saint Mary's sparked an 8-0 run that lasted a span of 3:33 after Naar finished back to back layups to tie the game, 49-49 with 10 minutes to go. The Gaels defense held the Toreros scoreless for over four minutes in the second half.
- San Diego started the second half quick, scoring seven straight for the 38-31 lead. Trailing by as many as eight points, the Gaels cut their deficit into four after Tanner Krebs sunk the Gaels' first three-pointer of the game to make the score, 49-45, with under 12 minutes left in the game.
- Saint Mary's got off to a close start versus San Diego, as the trio of Calvin Hermanson, Naar and Landale scored 26 out of the 31 points for the Gaels in the opening half. San Diego took a 17-11 lead early while shooting 50.0 percent in the first 10 minutes of the game.
- With under seven minutes to go in the first half, San Diego scored a quick seven points to take a 24-15 lead but a block shot and a rebound from Jordan Ford led to a fast four points from Hermanson and Naar to make the score 26-22. The Gaels eventually tied the game, 31-31, as Neal provided a spark off the bench with five consecutive points.
- The Toreros kept the Gaels from making a single three-point shot throughout the whole half, but SMC scored 10 points off of turnovers to keep close with USD heading into the locker room, 33-31.
- One of the top defensive teams in the country, San Diego leads the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage defense (23.6 percent), sixth in field-goal percentage defense (37.2) and 17th in scoring defense (62.4 ppg).
- First time this season SMC did not make a three-point attempt in a half (0-for-5 in the first half).
- Saint Mary's has won eight straight versus USD, and have won 13 out of the last 15 matchups.
- 10 game win streak is longest in program history since a 12-game win streak back in 2011-12.
- 1: Saint Mary's knocked down a season-low one three-pointer in the game.
- 9: Largest lead of the game for SMC.
- 24: Emmett Naar scored a game-high 24 points. Naar notched a season-high 24 points after surpassing 22 points against New Mexico State on Nov. 13.
- 40: The Gaels scored 40 of its points in the paint over the Toreros' 26.
- 60.0: Saint Mary's shot 60.0 percent from inside the arc. Naar finished 60.0 percent from the field, shooting 9-for-15.
- Saint Mary's will begin a four-game road trip as they travel to Santa Clara to face the Broncos on Thursday at 8 p.m.
- Fans can find all live coverage links on SMCGaels.com.
- The game will be televised on ESPNU.
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