Gaels' NCAA tourney run ends in North Carolina


Gaels' NCAA tourney run ends in North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- After 18 days, nearly 10,000 miles, 45 travel hours and three victories, the most successful postseason run in Saint Mary's history ended at Fetzer Field today.

Top-seeded North Carolina scored two second-half goals to knock-off the upstart Gaels 2-0 in front of a program-record crowd of 5,810 fans and advance to its fourth straight NCAA College Cup semifinal appearance.

North Carolina improved to 20-2-2 on the season will take on the winner of Saturday's other quarterfinal between UCLA and Louisville at a time to be determined on Friday, Dec. 9 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.

Saint Mary's ended its season with an 11-7-5 overall record, the first West Coast Conference championship in program history and the most postseason wins ever for a Gaels sports team.

The two teams battled to a scoreless draw in the first half, with the Tar Heels holding a slight 4-3 edge in shots. The only shot on goal between the two teams was a 60-yard free kick by Doug Herrick that appeared to be sailing directly into the goal, but was just tipped over the crossbar by UNC keeper Scott Goodwin.

Just seven minutes into the second half, North Carolina's Matt Hedges broke free of the SMC defense and headed a far post corner kick past Herrick and into the back of the net to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead.

Just more than 12 minutes later, UNC's Ben Speas won a physical one-on-one battle against freshman Bobby Conner, broke into the penalty area and scored the final goal of the game.

Both teams attempted 15 shots in the game with the Gaels' total equaling the third-most for a North Carolina opponent this season. Saint Mary's edged UNC 12-11 in second-half shots. Herrick saved five of the Tar Heels' seven shots on frame in the contest.

The game marked the final contest for eight seniors and junior Patrick Watson, who will be attending engineering school next year.

The Gaels are scheduled to return to Oakland International Airport Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and should arrive on campus at approximately 12:30.

Courtesy Saint Mary's College media services

Ex-Warriors, Kings coach withdrawns from consideration for Cal job


Ex-Warriors, Kings coach withdrawns from consideration for Cal job

BERKELEY — Nevada coach Eric Musselman said Wednesday he has withdrawn his name for consideration for the coaching vacancy at California, committed to continuing to build the Wolf Pack program after the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 in his second season.

Musselman's team captured the Mountain West Conference regular-season crown and tournament title, a program first. The Wolf Pack lost in the first round of the NCAAs to fifth-seeded Iowa State last week as a No. 12 seed to finish 28-7. While he originally signed a five-year contract through the 2019-20 season, Musselman is working to finalize a new five-year deal that would keep at the school for the long haul.

"My family and I are so excited about Nevada," he said in a text message to The Associated Press. "I love our players and the bond we have created as a team and on campus and in the community."

The 52-year-old Musselman interviewed in Berkeley for the Cal opening to replace Cuonzo Martin, who resigned from the Golden Bears last Wednesday and was named Missouri's new coach the same day. Martin was formally introduced Monday.

Cal is not announcing the names of anyone brought in to interview for the head coaching vacancy.

Cal's Ivan Rabb declares for NBA Draft, plans to finish education


Cal's Ivan Rabb declares for NBA Draft, plans to finish education

BERKELEY — California star Ivan Rabb will declare for the NBA draft, a move that has been expected since the season began.

The sophomore star announced his decision Wednesday through the school. He says, "After careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to forego my remaining NCAA eligibility and enter the NBA draft."

While Rabb says the timing is right to turn his attention to a professional career, he plans to finish school eventually — a promise he made to himself and his mother.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore forward was Cal's second-leading scorer at 14.0 points and top rebounder averaging 10.5 boards for the Golden Bears, who lost to Cal State Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT last week without him. Rabb was listed out with a foot injury.

Former coach Cuonzo Martin resigned the next day to become Missouri's new coach.