Dec 19, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Bruce Ellington (23) brings the ball up against the USC Upstate Spartans in the first half at The Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Saint Mary's Versus South Carolina Preview


Dec 19, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Bruce Ellington (23) brings the ball up against the USC Upstate Spartans in the first half at The Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Game time: 8:00 p.m. PST

TV: ESPNU

Off to one of best starts in school history, the Saint Mary’s Gaels (9-0) will look to make a statement nationally the next three games when they play in the Diamondhead Classic in Hawaii. The first match up will be against a struggling South Carolina (2-5) squad, who has dropped three straight games.

The Gaels will look to take advantage of this, coming off a 59-44 home win against American University. Brad Waldow led the team with 17 points in that game with Beau Levesque adding 10.

Saint Mary’s, who is double-digit favorites against the Gamecocks, will look to control freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell who leads them with 13.6 points. South Carolina seemed to have a promising early start to the season when they took No. 23 Baylor down to the wire but ultimately lost by two points. Then things began to fall apart with two home losses to Manhattan and South Carolina Upstate.

With a win, the Gaels would face the winner of the Boise State (8-2) versus Hawaii (7-2) matchup. A possible second round game with Boise will be a rematch of last weeks 82-74 win for Saint Mary’s in Boise.

With Gonzaga, Pacific and BYU all losing this weekend, a few wins for Saint Mary’s will give the Gaels a confidence boost going into WCC play.

Other notable teams in the field include: No. 17 Iowa State, Oregon State, George Mason and Akron.

Tags: Basketball College Basketball Saint Mary's Saint Mary's Gaels WCC West Coast Conference