March 13, 2011
MORAGA, Calif. -- The West Coast Conference co-champion Saint Mary's men's basketball team hosts Kent State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament Tuesday at 8 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday morning at 9 a.m. by calling (925) 631-4392, in person through the Saint Mary's College Athletic Ticket Office, or by visiting the ticket page on SMCGaels.com. Ticket prices are as follows: Courtside, $85; VIP, $35; Lower Reserved, $35; Upper Reserved, $20; General Admission (Adult), $15; General Admission (Senior/Child), $10; Standing Room Only, $10.
Tuesday's game will be televised live on ESPN2 with the exact broadcast crew yet to be announced. Local radio, audio streaming and livestats options should be finalized on Monday.
Second-seeded Saint Mary's enters Tuesday's game with a 25-8 overall record following its convincing 77-54 victory over Weber State on Friday night. The Gaels finished the regular-season tied with Gonzaga for the WCC regular-season title and advanced to its third-straight Zappos.com WCC Tournament final last weekend in Las Vegas.
Leading scorer Mickey McConnell was named the WCC Player of the Year by league coaches and earned all-district honors by the NABC and the USBWA. He is moving up the school's career charts in several categories and is among the national leaders in assists, three-point percentage, free throw percentage and assist-turnover ratio.
McConnell and forward Rob Jones have started all 33 games this season for Saint Mary's, while guards Matthew Dellavedova and Stephen Holt as well as forward Tim Williams are expected to form the team's starting five.
Seventh-seeded Kent State ended its regular-season with a 23-11 overall record and won the East division of the Mid-American Conference with a 14-5 record. The Golden Flashes lost a heart-breaking 66-65 decision to Akron in its conference tournament final.
Junior forward Justin Green is the team's scoring and rebounding leader, averaging 15.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. the backcourt duo of Rodriguez Shermand and Carlton Guyton also score in double figures with averages of 12.9 and 12.5 points per game, respectively.
The winner of Tuesday's game will play the winner of sixth-seeded Fairfield at third-seeded Colorado State. The date and site of the second-round game has not been determined.