Stephen Holt walked off the court holding back tears with five fouls and under five minutes left in the game, hoping he had not walked off the court for the last time in a Saint Mary’s jersey.
Fortunate enough, the rest of the Gaels did not want to end their season on their home floor as they rallied from 13 down to defeat Utah 70-58.
Saint Mary’s looked as flat as they have shown in previous games in the first half, starting off the game down 0-11, not able to find any good looks. Yet, their defense kept them in it being down only seven going into the break.
It was not until six and a half minutes left where Saint Mary’s began their impressive run when Holt hit back-to-back drives and got the foul on both. Less than a minute after was when he fouled out, and the fate of the team was no longer in his hands.
With the Gaels down 47-50, Kerry Carter hit a deep three to tie the game and then grabbed a steal and a layup to put Saint Mary’s up for the first time in front of a small, but boisterous crowd in McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels never looked back.
Beau Levesque who had struggled all game, hit his only three with 2:46 left followed by another three by Carter to put Saint Mary’s up by 10. The Gaels hit 8-8 free throws with under a minute left to seal the deal against the Utes.
Holt finished his last home game with 15 points and James Walker III tied his career high with 21 points. With Brad Waldow having his worst game of the season (4 points), back up center Matt Hodgson stepped up with eight points and four huge blocks, which helped set the defensive pace for Saint Mary’s.
The Gaels will now have to travel on Sunday to face number-one seeded Minnesota.