Saint Mary’s Survives Double OT Thriller at San Diego


Down late in the second half and facing the possibility of a bad hit to their RPI as they try to fight for an NCAA Tournament berth, the Saint Mary’s Gaels rallied to defeat the red hot San Diego Toreros 69-62 in double overtime on Saturday in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Gaels got a game-saving boost when Aaron Bright tied the game on a three with less than 9 seconds left in regulation. After a slow first overtime period where each team scored just once, the Gaels dominated the second OT period to pull away for the win.

The back and forth affair began in the first half. After jumping out to an 8-0 lead, San Diego went cold as the Gaels stormed back with a 25-1 run and took a 31-20 lead into halftime. After pushing their lead to as much as 14 points in the second half, the Toreros battled back with a big run of their own.

The 24-6 run put San Diego ahead 48-46 with 5:56 left as the teams stayed close the rest of the way. The Gaels hit two key three pointers with less than 30 seconds left including the game-tying one by Bright to force extra time.

Both teams struggled in the first overtime period scoring just 2 points each. In the second period, the Gaels opened on a 5-0 run. The Toreros cut the lead to 63-62 with 1:44 left in the period, but the Gaels finished on a 6-0 run to secure the win.

Brad Waldow was his usual dominant self with a game-high 22 points and 8 rebounds. Bright was the only other Saint Mary’s player in double figures with 15 points. He was just 1-7 from three point range, but his one made trey couldn’t have been any bigger. He played 42 out of a possible 50 minutes as he appears to be fully recovered from the ankle injury that caused him to be limited and miss some time recently.

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Johnny Dee had a team-high 21 points for the Toreros. The program’s all-time leading scoring surpassed the 2,000 point mark with the effort. Duda Sanadze came off the bench to be the only other San Diego player in double figures with 12 points. He has had a major resurgence after being quiet most of the season.

With the win, the Gaels improve to 19-6 overall and 11-3 in conference play. Despite the win, the Gaels are just 2-2 over their past four games. They were coming into this game off a 22 point loss at BYU on Thursday.

With the loss, the Toreros drop to 14-13 overall and 7-8 in conference play. They have won five of their last seven after a 2-6 start to conference play.

San Diego has one game next week at BYU on Thursday. Saint Mary’s has two games as they return home to host Portland on Thursday and Gonzaga on Saturday. The Gaels could have their postseason hopes riding on the game against the Bulldogs as their RPI may need the boost of a major upset to make it off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament field.