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

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

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.

With Dykes out, ex-Cal OC returns to West Virginia

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USATSI

With Dykes out, ex-Cal OC returns to West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jake Spavital is returning to West Virginia as offensive coordinator.

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen announced Spavital's hiring Saturday. He'll also coach the quarterbacks.

Spavital was interim coach at Cal after Sonny Dykes was fired last Sunday. Spavital had finished his first season as Cal's offensive coordinator. Under him, Davis Webb threw for 4,295 and 37 touchdowns.

Spavital was the quarterbacks coach in 2011 and 2012 under Holgorsen at West Virginia, where Geno Smith set numerous school records. Spavital spent three years after that at Texas A&M.

No. 21 Saint Mary's routed by undefeated Gonzaga

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USATSI

No. 21 Saint Mary's routed by undefeated Gonzaga

BOX SCORE

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Zach Collins said No. 5 Gonzaga wanted to make a statement against No. 21 Saint Mary's on Saturday night.

"There was a lot of hype going into this game," Collins said, after the Zags beat Saint Mary's 79-56.

"We were hoping to come in and make a statement to the rest of the conference and the rest of the country. We know how to win."

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points and added six assists to help Gonzaga win its 17th game in a row, the longest streak in the nation.

"We are as good as we think we are," Williams-Goss said. "We are a group with a lot of confidence."

Jordan Mathews added 16 points, Johnathan Williams had 14 and Collins 10 for Gonzaga (17-0, 5-0 West Coast).

Jock Landale was held to 10 points and was in foul trouble much of the game for Saint Mary's (15-2, 5-1), which saw a nine-game winning streak broken. Calvin Hermanson led the Gaels with 12 points.

This game was seen as one of the major barriers remaining for the Zags as they seek to go undefeated through the regular season. The teams play again at Saint Mary's on Feb. 11.

Saint Mary's has never beaten an opponent ranked higher than No. 9.

Gonzaga shot 64.7 percent in the game, while holding Saint Mary's to just 39.7 percent. Gonzaga coach Mark Few was asked which achievement was greater.

"They are an excellent defensive team," Few said. "To shoot 65 percent is an amazing night against anybody."

Landale picked up his second foul with 14:22 left in the first and sat out the rest of the half. The Gaels' stayed close for a while, as Hermanson converted a four-point play to tie the score at 18-18.

Saint Mary's sank three straight baskets for a 27-23 lead.

But Mathews' 3-pointer ignited a 12-2 Gonzaga run that gave the Zags a 43-34 lead at halftime.

Landale scored three unanswered baskets early in the second as Saint Mary's cut Gonzaga's lead to 46-40.

Shortly after, Williams-Goss erupted for five quick baskets as Gonzaga took a 63-52 lead, and the Gaels went into a prolonged drought.

Consecutive baskets by Williams lifted Gonzaga to a 67-52 lead with 4:50 left. Saint Mary's made just one of 12 field goal attempts at one point.

"We didn't close the last 10 minutes well at all, and then we lost our composure" Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "It should have been a good game but we didn't do our part to finish it."

POLL IMPLICATIONS:
Gonzaga is making a case to climb in the polls, while Saint Mary's is likely to drop as the game was not as close as anticipated.

STATS:
Gonzaga sank 33 of 51 shots, while the Gaels made just 23 of 58. Saint Mary's made just 6 of 16 from 3-point range.

BIG PICTURE:
Saint Mary's: The Gaels relinquished first place in the West Coast Conference. Saint Mary's is second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 56.6 points per game. Landale was held well below his averages of 17.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs took over first place in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga came in averaging 86 points, with five players averaging in double figures.

HOME COOKING:
Gonzaga is 170-13 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

UP NEXT:
Saint Mary's hosts Pacific on Thursday.

Gonzaga plays at Santa Clara on Thursday.