MBK | Hot Shooting Cougars Hand No. 21 Gaels First Loss of Season
Washington State shot 59 percent for the game to defeat Saint Mary's at the Wooden Legacy.
FULLERTON, Calif. -- In a back-and-forth contest, No. 21 Saint Mary's (5-1) faced a stiff test from Washington State (5-0), and eventually suffered its first loss of the season, 84-79 off a hot-shooting performance by the Cougars on Friday at Titan Gym.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Jock Landale continued to dominate inside for the Gaels, scoring seven early points to give Saint Mary's the 9-8 lead. The Aussie big man collected his 1,000th point for his career with his third successful field-goal in the early moments of the half.
The Cougars gained the 33-31 lead after shutting out the Gaels for a two minute 40 second stretch, but SMC would regain the advantage shortly after a right-handed hook shot from Jock Perry.
Both programs would continue to exchange buckets over the final three minutes, as SMC would head into halftime trailing for the first time this season, 42-40. WSU would shoot 56 percent on 15-of-27 from the floor, while SMC shot 16-for-30 (53 percent) in the opening half.
SMC would knock down their first two shots and force back-to-back Cougars turnovers to regain the lead, 45-44. The Cougars took the lead, 53-50 with 13 minutes remaining off a deep trey from Malachi Flynn.
WSU stayed hot in the second half, connecting on six straight field-goals to stretch the Gaels deficit to seven points, 68-61 with 7:53 remaining in the game.
The Cougars extended the lead to as much as 16 off a 13-1 run with under four minutes to go, forcing SMC without a field-goal for four minutes. The cold streak would end for the Gaels with back-to-back triples from Calvin Hermanson that cut the deficit to 10 with 2:23 remaining in the game.
After causing two consecutive turnovers, the Gaels would force WSU to call a timeout with one minute remaining, as SMC charged ahead with a 12-2 run over two minutes to cut the deficit to just six points.
Sophomore Jordan Ford made a clutch trey from 24-feet out with 47 seconds remaining to make it just a three-point game, 80-77, but the comeback would end there as WSU sealed the five-point victory, 84-79.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 4: Gaels in double-figures.
- 52: Shooting percentage from the floor by the Gaels.
- 9: Number of lead changes in the game.
- 17: Team-high points by Naar.
- 15: Career-high points by Ford.
- Jock Landale has scored in double-digits in 13 consecutive games.
- The senior collected his 1,000th point at the 14:06 mark.
- SMC is 6-8 all-time in ESPN events.
- WSU is second in the nation and first in the Pac-12 in three-pointers per game with 14.5.
- First time this season the Gaels trailed at the half (most previous time was versus Gonzaga on 3/7/17).
- Dating back to last season, SMC is 2-5 when trailing at halftime.
- WSU averaged 49.0 points in the second half this season.
- 42 points in the second half is lowest of season for the Cougars.
UP NEXT: SAN DIEGO STATE or GEORGIA
- Saint Mary's will play the losing team between San Diego State versus Georgia.
- Tipoff versus either SDSU or the Bulldogs is set for 2 p.m. PT and can be viewed on ESPNU.
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