March 7, 2009
Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's head men's basketball coach Randy Bennett announced yesterday that the Gaels will add a game for the 2008-09 season. Saint Mary's will host the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday, March 13 in a 7 p.m. game at McKeon Pavilion.
"Due to the unique situation, and the timing of Pat Mills' return from his hand injury, adding a game at this time can help make us a better team in the post-season," said Bennett. "We have a possible nine-day layoff, so adding this game during the break will keep our team in a regular routine. Fortunately, we have room on our schedule for an extra game this year, as did Eastern Washington. Also, it gives our seniors an opportunity to play one more game in front of their home fans."
Mills did not practice for five weeks and missed a total of nine games, while recovering from surgery to repair two broken bones in his hand. During that time, Saint Mary's posted a 6-3 record, which included an 11-point win over No. 23 Utah State (75-64) and a two-point loss to No. 19 Gonzaga (72-70).
Saint Mary's will participate in the 2009 West Coast Conference tournament this weekend, as it looks to capture its second tournament title in school history, and secure an NCAA Tournament bid. The second-seeded Gaels will open the tournament on Sunday night, and will play Pepperdine, San Francisco or Portland in the semifinal round. The championship game will be played on Monday night.
Should the Gaels win the WCC Tournament, and secure the conference's automatic bid, the game against Eastern Washington will still be played.
Saint Mary's currently has a 24-5 overall record and finished WCC play with a 10-4 record, and captured its fifth second place finish in six years. The Gaels are currently have an RPI of 48 by CollegeRPI.com and are 26th in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with 26 votes, and 29th the Associated Press Poll with 13 votes.
Courtesy of SMC Sports Information