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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 28, 2007

Saint Mary's - 97
Howard - 48

Moraga, CA - For the second time in three games, six players on the Saint Mary's men's basketball team scored in double figures, as the Gaels defeated the Howard Bison 97-48 in front of a Shamrock Office Solutions Classic record crowd of 2,616 at McKeon Pavilion. Patrick Mills' 21 points and Ian O'Leary's second career double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds led the Gaels.

In a game that was lopsided towards the Gaels from the beginning, 9-of-11 games that played got on the scoreboard and the same 10-of-11 players logged double-digits in minutes played. The only player to not play 10 minutes was Lucas Walker, who left the game with an ankle injury. The Gaels only trailed at the beginning of the game by scores of 1-0 and 4-2, but then went on a 22-4 run to blow the game open.

On the way to the Rainbow Classic title, Saint Mary's had six players score in double figures against East Tennessee State in the semifinal game. Just two games later, the Gaels achieved the same feat, as Mills led the way with 21 points. Mills was 9-for-15 from the floor and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. He also had a career-high seven rounds to go along with two assists in a season-low 21 minutes of action.

Omar Samhan nearly had his third double-double of the season as he scored 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Samhan logged the most minutes by any Saint Mary's player with 25. Ian O'Leary was 6-for-12 from the field en route to his fourth double-digit game of the season, and just his third career game in which he had double figures in rebounds. With 10 rebounds, he notched just the second double-double of his career, and first since his freshman season.

Rounding out the players in double figures were Tron Smith, who had 13 points off the bench, which included a reverse dunk with three seconds left in the game, Carlin Hughes also came off the bench to score 12 points, and Diamon Simpson chipped in with 11 points in 22 minutes.

Once again the Gaels played great team defense, as the distributed a season-high 23 assists against the Bison. The 23 assists set a Shamrock Office Solutions Classic record, while the 97 points scored by the Gaels is now the second most in the five year history of the tournament. The individual game scoring record was set by Cal State Fullerton earlier in the evening when the Titans defeated Furman 103-72 in the first game of the night.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Saturday night in the championship game of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic against Cal State Fullerton. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game between the Gaels and the Titans will follow the consolation game between Furman and Howard, which will begin at 5 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 74
Denver - 65

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Brody Angley sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining in regulation and Santa Clara scored seven straight in the extra period to beat Denver 74-65 in the first round of the Cable Car Classic on Friday night.

Ben Dowdell and Jonathan Gunderson each hit key baskets to spark the Broncos' rally. John Bryant scored 21 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds to lead Santa Clara (8-5), which won its second straight home game. Angley had 15 points and matched his season-best with eight assists.

The Broncos meet the winner of a later game between Morgan State and Niagara in Saturday's championship game.

David Kummer scored a career-high 20 points to lead Denver (4-7), which lost its sixth straight on the road. Adam Tanner added 18 points.

Santa Clara played the Pioneers for the first time since losing in Denver 56 years ago.

Denver became the first member of the Sun Belt Conference to compete in the Classic since Western Kentucky played in the first one in 1967.

Pioneers' freshman guard Xander McNally hails from San Francisco, and has appeared in all 11 games.

Denver outscored the Broncos, 8-2, in the first two minutes of the second half to take its first lead at 33-30. Kummer's 3-pointer put the Pioneers ahead.

Seven lead changes and three ties later, Angley sent the game into an extra period.

The Pioneers committed three turnovers in the final minute of regulation.

Bryant outrebounded the Pioneers by himself in the first half, grabbing 11 to Denver's nine. The Broncos led through the first 20 minutes, taking a 28-25 lead into the intermission.

Weber State - 62
San Francisco - 54

OGDEN, Utah (AP) - Eddie Sutton returned to coaching Friday night, but rather than recording win No. 799, the 71-year-old settled for loss No. 316.

Sutton, who retired from Oklahoma State following the 2005-06 season, returned to coaching, replacing Jessie Evans as San Francisco's basketball coach. Wednesday night, the school announced that Evans was taking "a leave of absence" for the rest of the season. Sutton, whose career record is 798-316, will lead the Dons (4-8) on an interim basis.

After building a 15-point lead in the second half, Weber State held on for a 62-54 victory over San Francisco. The Wildcats got 13 points from reserve Steve Panos and 12 from forward Daviin Davis.

The Dons fell behind 39-24 with 14:14 left to play, but rallied with an 18-8 run.

When USF's Christian Hernandez hit a 3-pointer with 4:42 remaining, it cut Weber State's lead to 49-46.

The Wildcats hit six straight free throws in the final minute to preserve the win.

Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn led the Dons with 19 points on 9-for-18 shooting. Guard Danny Cavic hit four-3-pointers and added 15 points.

USF returns to action when it travels to Orem, UT Monday, December 31 for a 6:00 PM (PT) contest at Utah Valley State. The Dons look to give Sutton his first victory in the Green and Gold. San Francisco won the previous meeting between the two teams in a 69-64 triumph at War Memorial Gym November 28.