Furious Rally Falls Short To #18 Saint Mary's

Furious Rally Falls Short To #18 Saint Mary's

ESPN Highlights

Jock Landale had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 18 Saint Mary's survived a long second-half drought to win for the 14th time in 15 games, 74-70, over Pacific on Thursday night in West Coast Conference (WCC) action inside the Alex G. Spanos Center.

Saint Mary's (20-2, 10-1 WCC) built a 19-point lead before going 8:43 without a basket in the second half as Pacific (8-16, 2-9 WCC) cut the deficit to three. But Saint Mary's used free throws to stay in front and have their 10th straight 20-win season.

T.J. Wallace and Anthony Townes scored 15 points each as the Tigers. Wallace moved past John Thomas into 16th place on the school's all-time scoring list. Jack Williams and Ray Bowles each scored eight points. Williams also had nine rebounds, including six on the offensive end, as Pacific recorded 14 second chance points.

Pacific used a 16-2 run to cut Saint Mary's big lead down to five on a 3-pointer by Wallace. A tip-in by Tonko Vuko cut it to 62-59 with just over five minutes to go.

The Tigers finished 17-of-22 from the free throw line, including 13-of-17 after intermission. Pacific turned 12 Gael miscues into 18 points.

Emmett Naar and Dane Pineau each made two free throws before Joe Rahon ended the long shooting drought with a layup for a 3-point play that made it 69-61. That was the only basket for Saint Mary's in the final 12 minutes of the game.

Rahon finished with 14 points.

The Gaels were unable to pull away in the first half until scoring six straight to take a 10-point lead on Landale's dunk with 21 seconds left. But Wallace responded with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 41-34 at the break.

"We're just trying to get a win," Pacific's D.J. Ursery, who finished with 13 of his team's 29 bench points, said. "It's tough being on this losing streak. But just keep fighting and we'll get some wins coming down the stretch." Ursery also had six rebounds.

After getting a layup from Pineau to go up 19 points, Saint Mary's didn't get the ball inside much the rest of the way. During the nearly 9-minute drought, the Gaels shot exclusively 3-pointers, missing all six, including tries from big men Landale and Pineau.

"We just decided to shoot 3s with our fours and fives," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "But credit Pacific. They played them hard enough that our guys quit fighting to get it inside."

The Gaels shot just 1-of-9 from deep in the final 20 minutes.

Pacific continues league play Saturday at Pepperdine. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. PT.