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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


St. Mary’s holds off VCU to set up matchup with Arizona

Simon Asher

St. Mary’s Calvin Hermanson (24) looks for a teammate to pass to over VCU’s Jordan Burgess (20) during the St. Mary’s – VCU game on Thursday, March 16. 

SALT LAKE CITY—Arizona’s next opponent if the Wildcats beat No. 15 seed North Dakota is the No. 7 seed St. Mary’s after the Gaels knocked off No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth 85-77 Thursday.

The Gaels were led by junior center Jock Landale who finished the contest with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

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Saint Mary’s nearly blew a 15-point halftime lead and VCU cut the deficit to little as 4 points, but the Gaels’ size appeared to be too much handle, because VCU’s biggest player was 6-foot-9. SMC outrebounded the Rams 36-28 and pushed the tempo with quick passes dishing out 13 assists.

There were some points in the second half where Saint Mary’s looked weak even when the Gaels had a double-digit lead, but once it came to crunch time the Gaels pulled away.

During the regular season, SMC finished second in the West Coast Conference and lost to UT-Arlington and No. 1 seed of the West region Gonzaga three times including in the WCC Championship.

No. 2 Arizona and No. 7 Saint Mary’s will play after No. 1 Gonzaga takes on No. 9 Northwestern

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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