No. 24 Saint Mary's holds off Santa Clara 93-77

No. 24 Saint Mary's holds off Santa Clara 93-77
January 22, 2012, 6:58 am
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Matthew Dellavedova had 26 points and seven assists, Rob Jones added 14 points and 15 rebounds and No. 24 Saint Mary's held off Santa Clara 93-77 on Saturday night.The Gaels were outhustled and outshot for most of the game and trailed midway through the second half before going on a 15-2 run to pull away for their ninth consecutive win. Saint Mary's (19-2, 9-0 WestCoast Conference) is off to its best start under 11th-year coach Randy Bennett.Jorden Page scored a career-high 19 points and Brad Waldow had 14 points and a career-best 16 rebounds for Saint Mary's, which has won six straight in the series.Niyi Harrison had 23 points and nine rebounds for Santa Clara (8-10, 0-5). Kevin Foster added 22 but the Broncos couldn't sustain their early momentum and lost their sixth straight.Saint Mary's won despite going 26 of 45 from the free throw line and 5 for 16 on 3-pointers.Playing in front of the first sellout crowd at the Leavey Center in nearly two years seemed to give Santa Clara a spark. So did Foster.The Broncos' junior had eight points in the first 5 minutes and later made his third 3-pointer to put Santa Clara up 29-23 midway through the first half. Santa Clara ran into some foul trouble, which allowed Saint Mary's to make a brief run and take a 44-42 lead before Foster hit another 3.Robert Garrett then blocked a shot by the Gaels' Tim Williams under the basket. Brandon Clark grabbed the rebound and threw a long pass to Evan Roquemore, who raced down the court for the easy layup to make it 47-44.Jones, who nearly had a double-double before halftime with 11 points and eight rebounds, then scored on a layup to pull Saint Mary's within one at the break.Santa Clara opened the second half as well as it ended the first, getting six points from Harrison.Harrison, knocked out of the game earlier after crashing to the floor going for a rebound, came back and gave the Broncos a 56-52 lead with his second dunk over a 57-second span.Bennett called a timeout to try to calm his team but it took some time for the Gaels to recover. They missed seven of 11 free throw attempts after the timeout and trailed 64-63 before going on the 15-2 run.Broncos coach Kerry Keating, frustrated at seeing his team's shot at an upset slip away, was called for a technical foul with 4:47 left and the Gaels up 79-68.Saint Mary's continued to pull away and went up by 14 following Stephen Holt's driving layup with just over 2 minutes remaining.Foster, who finished 6 of 16, moved into fourth place on the Broncos career scoring list. He passed Dennis Awtry and Steve Nash, now an NBA star with the Phoenix Suns.

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