NCAA

Landale leads Saint Mary's past Loyola Marymount in blowout win

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USATSI

Landale leads Saint Mary's past Loyola Marymount in blowout win

BOX SCORE

MORAGA -- 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.

Evan Fitzner had a season-high 13 points - all in the first half - and Calvin Hermanson added 11 to help the Gaels (23-3, 13-2 West Coast Conference) to their eighth win in nine games.

"I didn't see that game going that way," Bennett said. "We were able to separate early and we needed that. We played pretty well tonight . one of our most balanced games we've had as far as playing well on both sides of the ball."

Playing for the first time since losing to No. 1 Gonzaga last week, Saint Mary's showed no lingering effects and led by as many as 38 points while extending its winning streak to 11 straight against Loyola Marymount.

Landale provided the bulk of the offense with his 12th double-double of the season on 6-of-7 shooting. The 6-foot-11-inch Aussie played only 22 minutes when Bennett went to his bench.

Unlike many games this season, the Gaels provided their big man with plenty of offensive support. Fitzner, who played just 2 minutes against the Lions when the teams played in December, and Hermanson made three 3-pointers each.

"That's a result of good offense and good teamwork," Landale said. "Our bench is great. We always know they can score and tonight they just kind of showed that off a little bit."

Brandon Brown scored 10 points for Loyola Marymount. The Lions (12-14, 5-10) have lost 22 of their last 23 against the Gaels.

The win assures Saint Mary's of finishing no worse than tied for second in the WCC. The Gaels can clinch the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament with a win over BYU on Saturday.

FITZNER FINDS MINUTES

Fitzner has started 61 consecutive games for Saint Mary's, but the Gaels sophomore has found minutes hard to come by over the past two months. That changed when Fitzner got off to a fast start against Loyola Marymount. He made two early 3-pointers, teamed with Landale and Tanner Krebs for all of the scoring during a 17-2 run, then made another shot beyond the arc with 51 seconds left to help push Saint Mary's halftime lead to 46-25. "I just want to play my role and do whatever I can to help the team win," Fitzner said. "But obviously it feels good when your teammates give you the ball and you make some open shots."

BIG PICTURE

Loyola Marymount: A mismatch in just about every way. The Lions shot just 38 percent, were outrebounded 37-19 and had only one player in double figures. They also went more than 10 minutes without a field goal in the second half.

Saint Mary's: Save for a little sloppy patch near the end of the first half, this was a crisp game offensively for the Gaels. The key was getting steady scoring from someone other than Landale, and Fitzner provided just that to keep the Lions from collapsing the interior. .. Joe Rahon had five rebounds and seven assists.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Gaels dropped two spots in the latest poll following their loss to No. 1 Gonzaga last week. The win over the Lions won't garner much support, but with No. 20 Creighton and No. 21 South Carolina losing earlier in the week, the door is open for Saint Mary's to climb back into the top 20.

UP NEXT

Loyola Marymount: The Lions return home to host Pepperdine on Saturday.

Saint Mary's: Travels to BYU on Saturday night.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.