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The Saint Mary's men's basketball team went over the 90-point mark for the third time this season on Friday
MORAGA, Calif. -- A barrage of long balls and two 20-point performances powered the Saint Mary's men's basketball team to its sixth straight victory, blowing past visiting UNC Asheville, 95-69, at McKeon Pavilion in both teams' final non-conference game of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary's (11-2) never trailed against the preseason Big South Conference favorites, starting the game on a 15-5 run to lead by double digits before the first media timeout. Jock Landale scored nine of the Gaels' first 15 points and scored 19 before halftime en route to a game-high 23 points. Tanner Krebs added 22 points to give the Gaels two 20-point scorers for the fourth time this season.
- But it wasn't just Landale's inside game that spurred the Gaels. Saint Mary's shot 52.6 percent from beyond the arc in the first half with 10 3-pointers. Tanner Krebs made a team-high four treys in the first 20 minutes while five other Gaels also connected from deep before the break. SMC grew its lead to as many as 19 right before halftime, leading 58-39 heading into the locker room.
- Elijah Thomas' free throw 51 seconds into the second half gave Saint Mary's its first 20-point lead of the game. Later, an 11-0 run midway through the period pushed the Gaels' lead to the 30-point mark, capped by a layup from Jock Perry to make it 83-53. The Gaels led by at least 20 points for 13:21 of the game.
- Plenty of Gaels got in on the action Friday. 11 different Gaels scored at least three points in the game. Thomas (7) and Perry (5) each tallied career highs in points. Tommy Kuhse (5) scored his first career points as a Gael, running through the lane for a floating layup at the 2:32 mark and hitting his first career 3-pointer with 54 seconds left.
- UNC Asheville (7-6) was led by Ahmad Thomas' 22 points. MaCio Teague added 18. No other player had more than eight points for the Bulldogs.
- Saint Mary's went over the 90-point mark for the third time third time in 2017-18, having also done so versus Seattle (97 points) and New Mexico State (92 points). It was the team's largest margin of victory (+26) since beating BYU by 31 points (81-50) in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals last year.
- Friday's game was the first-ever matchup between Saint Mary's and UNC Asheville. The Gaels only have one other game against a Big South Conference member in their history, beating Radford, 72-60, in Moraga on Dec. 28, 2004.
- 6: Krebs knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers and scored 22 points while pulling down seven rebounds. He surpassed his previous best of five treys done versus Seattle on Dec. 9.
- 7: Jock Landale recorded his seventh double-double of the year with his game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. Landale leads the WCC in double-doubles and entered Friday ranked No. 18 in the country.
- 12: Emmett Naar dished out a game-high 12 assists. It was the fourth time this season he tallied 12 helpers, pushing his season total to 119 total and 9.2 per game.
- 40: Saint Mary's outrebounded UNC Asheville 40-24. The Gaels reached the 40-rebound mark for the second straight game and third time this season.
- Saint Mary's will open its 2017 West Coast Conference schedule against Loyola Marymount at 8 p.m. on Thursday at McKeon Pavilion.
- Ticket and coverage links can be found on SMCGaels.com.
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