Saint Mary’s at CAL (Game Recap)
Saint Mary’s Gaels: In yet another entertaining Caldecott Classic between Saint Mary’s and CAL, it was the Gaels who came out on top 89-77 behind a combined 60 points from Jordan Ford (32) and Malik Fitts (28), handing Cal their first home loss of the season. This game had all the makings of being a high scoring affair from the jump, as both teams finished shooting 50% or better from both two point and three point range. In the end Saint Mary’s high volume shooting was too much for Cal to overcome.
The game started slow for the Gaels, as after the first few minutes of play they found themselves down 10-2. However, after a quick timeout from Randy Bennet the Gaels ripped off a 15-5 run, retaking the lead 17-5. For the rest of the first half the Gaels would continue to dominate, as Malik Fitts simply erupted from deep. He was 5-6 from three point range and had 21 points at the half to lead Saint Mary’s to a 45-29 lead heading into the break.
Out of the break it was more of the same, as Malik Fitts scored 5 of the first seven points for the Gaels before going quiet for the rest of the half, as he only scored 2 more points and ended up fouling out. However, this is when Senior Guard Jordan Ford began to take over. He ended up with 25 second half points, as Saint Mary’s was able to stave off a late run by CAL.
Automatic from deep
Saint Mary’s was able to continue its impressive shooting from deep, as it finished the game 10-15 from downtown. The Gaels are once again the best three point shooting team in college basketball. Nailing an insane 45.7 % from deep. This has been the Gaels staple all year, and their season will continue to go as their three point shooting goes.
The biggest flaw of this Saint Mary’s team continues to be its interior defense. On Saturday night the Gaels were carved up inside by Andre Kelly. He finished with 26 points on 8-11 shooting from the field and 10-11 from the line. This was from a player who came into the game averaging 7.3 PPG on around 50% shooting. If the Gaels hope to have long term success this season, and make a deep run in March, they will need to tighten up their interior defense and do it quickly. With Conference play only two weeks away, and the likes of Yoeli Childs and Filip Petrusev waiting, the Gaels can ill afford to continue giving up these types of games to opposing bigs.
Up next is Arizona State (8-2) at Talking Stick Arena in Arizona on 12/18/19.
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