MBK | Dons Down Gaels In Second Half Comeback
Saint Mary's travels to Portland on Saturday to face the pilots at 7 p.m.
By: Nadine Masarweh
SMC Athletic Communications
MORAGA, Calif. -- In the 180th all-time meeting between the two Bay Area rivals, No. 15/15 Saint Mary's (24-4, 13-2 WCC) faced all it could handle from San Francisco (15-13, 7-8 WCC), as the Dons upset the Gaels, 70-63, Thursday night at War Memorial at The Sobrato Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- San Francisco's guard Frankie Ferrari knocked down a key shot from beyond the arc to extend the lead over Saint Mary's to four points with three minutes left on the clock. Jock Landale fouled out with less than two minutes remaining after a defensive rebound attempt. USF's defense kept the Gaels without a field-goal for the final five and half minutes of the game, as SMC shot 30.4 percent from the field in the second half.
- The Gaels tied the game 50-50 as Evan Fitzner sparked SMC's offensive play hitting a shot from beyond the arc, followed by a layup to put the Gaels back in the lead, 52-50 at the 7:52 mark.
- USF made it interesting to begin the second half as the Dons put up nine points that made it a one-point game, 45-44. The Dons took its first lead of the game after a block from Nate Renfro transitioned to Jimbo Lull for a layup. The Dons held the Gaels to nine points with 10 minutes into the second half. Emmett Naar scored seven points as Tanner Krebs recorded a layup.
- San Francisco hit back to back points that made it a three-point game led by Chase Foster and Ferrari heading into the locker room. Saint Mary's held USF's leading scorer Souley Boum to just one point in the opening 20 minutes. The Gaels shot 55.2 percent from the field over the Dons 50.0.
- Saint Mary's shot 64.7 percent from the field leading 27-16 at the 7:31 mark as 18 of the Gaels points were scored from inside the paint. Jordan Hunter's big defensive play and Naar's crafty layup on the offensive end gave the Gaels a 10-point lead with 3:17 left in the first half.
- Fitzner and Landale were the ones that gave the Gaels its first 22 points with 12 minutes into the first half. Landale scored the first 11 points that included two and-1 plays to lead the Dons 11-5, as the senior scored in double-figures with eight minutes into the 13:26 mark. Fitzner came off the bench and finished an easy layup to the basket while knocking down a shot from beyond the arc.
- No teams in the country are now undefeated on the road as SMC and Ohio State both suffered defeats today.
- With now 1,510 career points, Landale is just the fifth Gael to have at least 1,500 points and 700 rebounds for his career.
- First time the Gaels lost at USF since Feb. 20, 2014 (L, 73-62).
- First time this season SMC has lost a game after leading at halftime.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 3: Three Gaels scored in double-digit points: Naar (16), Fitzner (17) and Landale (19). Fitzner finished tonight with a season-high 17 points after scoring 16 versus Pacific on Jan. 4.
- 34: The Gaels grabbed 34 overall rebounds as USF pulled down 33.
- 40: Saint Mary's scored 40 of its points from inside the paint over USF's 26.
- 42.9: Saint Mary's shot an overall 42.9 from the field. The Gaels shot 55.2 percent in the first half then dropped its percentage down to 29.6 in the second.
UP NEXT: PORTLAND
- Saint Mary's will travel to Oregon to take on Portland at 7 p.m. on Saturday before wrapping up its regular season at home versus Pepperdine and Santa Clara.
- Fans can find coverage links on the men's basketball schedule page on SMCGaels.com.
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