Saint Mary’s plans for another upset after stunning Gonzaga
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett has earned seven NCAA Tournament bids, made one trip to the Sweet Sixteen and turned a two-win team into one of the winningest on the West Coast since arriving...
Saint Mary’s holds off San Diego, reaches WCC title game
LAS VEGAS (AP) — New season. Same story.
Saint Mary's is headed to the West Conference Tournament championship, where it'll meet an old friend.
Top-ranked Gonzaga wraps up undefeated WCC season
Gonzaga moved back atop the AP Top 25 this week. Wins over Pacific and Saint Mary's took the Bulldogs a step closer to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Mary’s routs New Mexico 85-60 at tripleheader in LA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Saint Mary's came out shooting and the Gaels never let up.
Jordan Ford scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half and Saint Mary's routed New Mexico 85-60 on Friday in the opening game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic tripleheader.
The Gaels (6-4) rolled to big leads at the start of each half in winning their third in a row. Malik Fitts added 15 points. Both Ford and Fitts played with three fouls in the second half at Staples Center.
Saint Mary’s hot shooting proves too much for Cal
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — California made its first visit to Saint Mary's in three decades Saturday night, and the Gaels didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat.
Malik Fitts scored 19 points and Saint Mary's rolled to an 84-71 victory over the Bears.
The Gaels (4-4) emphatically halted their four-game losing streak, shooting 60 percent from the field and dominating their neighbors from the Pac-12.
No. 22 Saint Mary’s escapes vs Pepperdine in WCC quarters
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Facing a six-win team that was 19 games under .500, No. 22 Saint Mary's suddenly found itself down 15 points in the early going Saturday night.
Thanks to some clutch shooting from Calvin Hermanson, the Gaels recovered just in time.
Jock Landale had 17 points and 19 rebounds, and Saint Mary's withstood a scare from underdog Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals before squeaking out a 69-66 victory at the Orleans Arena.
No. 15 Saint Mary’s pulls away to beat Portland 73-61
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett eyed the final stats before heading into the locker room.
"We needed that one," he said.
Jock Landale had 23 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Saint Mary's rebounded from a pair of losses with a 73-61 victory over Portland on Saturday night.
San Francisco rallies to upset No. 15 Saint Mary’s 70-63
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett is convinced of one thing with three games left before the postseason begins: The 15th-ranked Gaels better find a way to score when Jock Landale is on the bench or they're not going very far.
Landale leads No. 13 Saint Mary’s to 65-62 win vs USD
SAN DIEGO (AP) — For most of the game, it seemed like it was Jock Landale all by himself against the entire San Diego Toreros team.
The big Australian senior had 34 points and tied his season high with 18 rebounds — he had a double-double by halftime — and the No. 13 Saint Mary's Gaels held off USD 65-62 on Saturday night to extend their school-record winning streak to 18.
No. 16 Saint Mary’s beats Portland for 16th straight win
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Saint Mary's celebrated its school-record 16th straight win the same way as the previous 15 — with no announcement over the loudspeakers and no recognition of any sort.
Just a few handshakes and hugs, typical of the 16th-ranked Gaels all season.
Jordan Ford tied his career high with 20 points, including 16 in the first half, and Saint Mary's beat Portland 72-55 on Saturday night.
Landale’s 32 leads No. 16 Saint Mary’s past BYU 75-62
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett likes knowing that his team's 15-game winning streak hasn't received much national attention.
The way the 16th-ranked Gaels have been playing lately, it's going to be difficult to ignore.
Jock Landale had 32 points and 14 rebounds and No. 16 Saint Mary's pulled away in the second half to beat BYU 75-62 on Thursday night.
The 15-game winning streak matches the longest in Saint Mary's history. The Gaels also won 15 straight in 2008-09.
Landale leads Saint Mary’s to upset of No. 13 Gonzaga, 74-71
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Home losses are rare for Gonzaga, even against archrival Saint Mary's. The Gaels relied on experience and their characteristically efficient offense to pull the upset on Thursday night.
Jock Landale had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Gaels beat the 13th-ranked Bulldogs 74-71 to take sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference.
Saint Mary’s gets back on track with 74-63 win over Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Getting knocked out of the Top 25 didn't bother Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett as much as losing back-to-back games.
Jordan Ford helped make sure the streak didn't reach three with what was easily his best game of the season on a night when Gaels leading scorer Jock Landale didn't factor much in the outcome.
Ford scored a career-high 17 points with six rebounds and Saint Mary's beat California 74-63 on Saturday night.
Landale scores 22 to help No. 21 Saint Mary’s stay unbeaten
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jock Landale wasn't pleased with his defense and pointed out that Saint Mary's made its best run when he was on the bench.
Coach Randy Bennett had a similar view of the defense and blamed himself.
The Gaels are unbeaten and likely to take another step up in the AP Top 25, but the defense isn't where Bennett and his players expect it to be.
Hermanson, Naar lead big second half for No. 21 Saint Mary’s
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — On top of the Saint Mary's white board in the locker room is a regular reminder that reads "transition defense."
Coach Randy Bennett figures it has been there his entire time at the mid-major school that pushes two decades. And he will certainly be stressing that idea even more so after watching the Gaels struggle to stop Cal State Fullerton on the fast break.
Naar, Landale lead No. 21 Saint Mary’s past New Mexico State
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Emmett Naar will have the basketball in his hands more often this season as the full-time point guard for No. 21 Saint Mary's. He insists that doesn't mean he will look to score more.
However, the Australian native saw openings against New Mexico State on Monday night and took advantage.
Naar scored 22 points, Jock Landale added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Gaels pulled away to beat the Aggies 92-74.
Hermanson’s 24 leads No. 22 Saint Mary’s past Saint Francis
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Calvin Hermanson made his first nine shots and was perfect on five 3-pointers for No. 22 Saint Mary's until coming up short on his sixth try from beyond the arc.
"And it was open," Hermanson said of his lone miss.
On a day when the Gaels' senior more than made up for it on both ends of the court, it hardly mattered.
Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett lands new 10-year contract
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett has been rewarded for successfully transforming the men's basketball program at tiny Saint Mary's College over nearly two decades, receiving a new 10-year contract through the 2026-27 season.
Saint Mary’s faces high expectations again as WCC leader
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — They were disgusted and downright embarrassed.
Freshly ousted with a stunning early exit from the West Coast Conference tournament three seasons ago, Saint Mary's made the quiet flight home from Las Vegas and reached campus about 10 p.m. that night in March 2015 after a loss to Portland. Coach Randy Bennett sent home the seniors and called a team meeting for the underclassmen. He did the talking, for about an hour.
For the first time in 17 years, Gonzaga isn’t favored to win the WCC men’s basketball title.
Saint Mary’s took over the top spot in the conference coaches’ preseason poll, released Thursday in Las Vegas at the WCC’s annual tip-off event. Gonzaga was second, followed by BYU, San Francisco and Santa Clara.
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Former Stanislaus State athletic director Mike Matoso has been hired for the same role at Saint Mary's.
School President James A. Donahue announced Thursday that Matoso will replace Mark Orr, who left to become AD at Sacramento State. Matoso will begin his new job July 19.
Matoso had spent the past five years at Division II Stanislaus State and before that he had been a senior associate athletic director at the University of San Diego for 13 years.
Local sports: Gonzalez transfering from Saint Mary’s
Highland graduate Stefan Gonzalez announced Monday he is transferring from the Saint Mary’s basketball team.
A decline in playing time was at the heart of his decision. After Gonzalez averaged 9.5 minutes per game in his first 11 games as a sophomore, he played 3 minutes per game the rest of the season.
Landale records double-double, Saint Mary’s beats VCU 85-77
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett sounded relieved to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night and grateful, even, to be done with Virginia Commonwealth.
Jock Landale had 18 points and 13 rebounds as seventh-seeded Saint Mary's held on for an 85-77 victory over No. 10 VCU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament's West Region.
"They're hard to put away," Bennett said. "We're happy to get this one done.
Zags take time to celebrate championship, look ahead
LAS VEGAS – The execution on the court was on point and so was the post-game celebration.
The buzzer sounded on Gonzaga’s 74-56 win over Saint Mary’s in the WCC tournament title game Tuesday and the Zags raced toward the center circle hopping and bouncing around like human pinballs, Rui Hachimura’s hang-time impressive as always.
No. 19 Saint Mary’s routs BYU 81-50 to reach WCC title game
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Saint Mary's wanted another shot at its nemesis. The 19th-ranked Gaels accomplished their goal with two confidence-building wins.
Jock Landale had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 19 Saint Mary's never trailed in an 81-50 victory over BYU on Monday night in the West Coast Conference semifinals.
No. 20 Saint Mary’s holds off Santa Clara in WCC finale
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Having the second-stingiest scoring defense in the country has turned out to be quite a luxury for No. 20 Saint Mary's this season.
With the Gaels unable to find a consistent flow to their offense against Santa Clara, that luxury turned out to be the difference.
Jock Landale scored 17 points and Saint Mary's beat Santa Clara 70-56 on Saturday night in the West Coast Conference regular season finale for both teams.
Landale leads No. 22 Saint Mary’s past Loyola Marymount
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — For one of the few times this season, Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett had trouble finding anything wrong with how his team played.
On a night when the Gaels had one of their best offensive nights of the season and got big contributions off the bench, there was no need to nitpick.
Jock Landale had 16 points and 11 rebounds and No. 22 Saint Mary's beat Loyola Marymount 81-48 on Thursday night.
Bennett builds Saint Mary’s into team worthy of big stage
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — When Randy Bennett arrived at Saint Mary's 16 years ago, he never envisioned it would be a destination job.
In a business where coaches routinely move on to bigger jobs if they're successful or get fired if they aren't, Bennett was just happy for the opportunity to be a head coach after spending the previous 16 seasons as an assistant.
Big second half lifts Saint Mary’s past South Carolina State
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Saint Mary's needed a little urging to take its game up a notch, and coach Randy Bennett provided that push with a clear halftime message about playing harder and together.
"I challenged them," he said. "It wasn't crazy."
Jock Landale had 20 points and 11 rebounds and No. 19 Saint Mary's pulled away with a big second half to beat South Carolina State 74-47 on Thursday night and wrap up its non-conference schedule.
Hermanson’s big first half sets the tone for No. 19 Gaels
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Calvin Hermanson found a way to get Saint Mary's offense going early on a night when the 19th-ranked Gaels didn't have much rhythm to their shooting.
An improving defense and a dominant effort on the boards helped, too.
Hermanson scored 18 of his 19 points in the first half and Saint Mary's beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 67-46 on Tuesday night.
Balanced Saint Mary’s leads all the way to beat WKU
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett has a long list of scorers on Saint Mary's, so that's the least of his worries. When his Gaels get big leads and the bench comes in, now the challenge is sustaining a defensive tempo that this group had last season in regularly holding teams to 40 percent shooting and below.
Saint Mary's is making strides on both ends, even gaining some good practice against a zone defense Wednesday night.
Landale scores 20 points, No. 15 St. Mary’s beats UAB 76-63
LAS VEGAS (AP) — St. Mary's is used to playing in the Orleans Arena every March, having been there annually since 2009 for the West Coast Conference Tournament.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the 15th-ranked Gaels got an early season look at the venue on Sunday, and earned a 76-63 victory over UAB.
Naar’s double-double paces No. 17 Saint Mary’s to 2nd win
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett couldn't say enough good things about his team's offense after No. 17 Saint Mary's reached triple digits for the first time in nearly four years.
It was the defense that bothered the Gaels' coach, a message that Bennett delivered strongly to his players after the game.
Emmett Naar had 16 points and 11 assists to pace seven scorers in double figures in the Gaels' 110-72 victory over Prairie View A&M on Wednesday night.
No. 17 Saint Mary’s opens season by beating Nevada 81-63
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — As dominant as Saint Mary's has been at home over the past decade, Nevada coach Eric Musselman questioned why he even scheduled the game — especially for the season opener.
"That's what an NCAA Tournament team looks like," Musselman said. "They never lose here. I shouldn't have scheduled the game. I don't really know what else to say. ... I've been in this building too many times. We were not ready to play that type of competition."