NCAA

Saint Mary's puts on dominant performance in win over San Diego

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AP

Saint Mary's puts on dominant performance in win over San Diego

SAN DIEGO — Saint Mary's knows it has little room for error when it comes to accomplishing its goals for this season. So Jock Landale and company took rebuilding San Diego quite seriously on Saturday night.

Landale and Calvin Hermanson scored 14 points apiece, and the 18th-ranked Gaels rolled to a 71-27 victory over the Toreros.

Saint Mary's (21-2, 11-2 West Coast Conference) limited San Diego to just nine field goals in its sixth straight victory. The Gaels shot 51 percent (26 for 51) from the field, compared to 19.6 percent (9 for 46) for the Toreros.

Saint Mary's went 29-6 last year, but was passed over when the field for the NCAA Tournament was announced. Two conference losses to Pepperdine helped derail the Gaels' chance for an at-large bid after they lost to Gonzaga in the WCC final.

"We always hold a chip on our shoulder because we didn't get there last year," Landale said. "And that is something we are striving for this year."

Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said what happened last season left the Gaels with an "interesting perspective."

"They did what they were supposed to do last year and then we lost in the championship game and didn't get in the NCAA Tournament," Bennett said. "So they understand how hard it is. There is a lot of pressure."

Olin Carter III led San Diego (11-13, 4-8) with 11 points. None of his teammates had more than three points.

The Toreros have dropped four of five.

"I think we took the right shots early; we took shots that we make in games," San Diego coach Lamont Smith said. "Unfortunately the shots didn't fall and I think we got a little defeated."

Bennett's biggest concern was his players easing up after building a big lead. That issue popped up in Thursday's 74-70 win over Pacific.

"Against Pacific we got up 17 points and it got that thing back to a one-possession game," Bennett said. "And we use that as a reference point. That is something this group has to get better at: taking it from 10 to 15 from 15 to 20 and tonight we did that. I was proud of our guys."

Smith is interested to see how his guys respond.

"It's a great thing for our basketball team to hit some adversity," Smith said. "Are we going to lie down or are we going to come out swinging and fighting?"

Saint Mary's led 32-9 at halftime and cruised to a season sweep of San Diego.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels played with an edge, and maybe Saturday's results around college basketball helped their cause. With several teams ranked above Saint Mary's losing before it took the court, Bennett's squad turned in an impressive performance.

San Diego: The Toreros are rebuilding under Smith, a former San Diego player and ex-Saint Mary's assistant. They have two more wins than last season already, but they were overwhelmed by the talented Gaels.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's hosts Portland on Thursday. The Gaels beat the Pilots 74-33 earlier this season.

San Diego visits Pacific on Thursday. The Toreros lost 56-53 to the Tigers on Jan. 5.

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.