Feb. 14, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - In a game that resulted in almost as much action in the training room as on the foor, Santa Clara dropped a 76-69 overtime decision to Saint Mary's College in the second game between the two teams in three days.
SMC's Diamon Simpson put back an offensive rebound and converted the free throw to give Saint Mary's (12-11, 5-6 West Coast Conference) a 69-67 lead with three minutes remaining in overtime. After Brody Angley made one free throw, Daniel Kickert responded with a three-point play of his own to put the Gaels up for good.
Travis Niesen, the third-leading scorer in the conference, came back from a bloody lip in the first half to make a 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation for Santa Clara (9-14, 2-9), sending the game to overtime tied at 63.
Freshman Wayne Hunter scored 16 points to lead the Gaels, who followed up on their 54-51 victory Saturday in Moraga. Saint Mary's has won four of five - losing only at the buzzer to No. 5 Gonzaga last Monday.
Kickert, the conference's fifth-leading scorer at 17.3 points per game coming in, scored only three points on 1-for-5 shooting in the first half and finished with 13 points.
Ian O'Leary also had 13 for the Gaels and Simpson added 12 rebounds. Saint Mary's held on despite blowing an 11-point lead.
Niesen led all scorers with 20 points despite being knocked out of the game briefly in the first half. Kickert knocked Niesen down with a right forearm to the mouth, but no foul was called on the play.
Niesen was taken to the locker room for treatment of his bloody lip and received four stitches from Dr. Paul Ballesteros of the Soar Medical Group. Niesen returned to the game in the second half, scoring 18 points after the break.
Santa Clara played a zone defense that kept the ball away from Kickert, but opened up the floor for long-range jumpers from other players. Saint Mary's made eight 3-pointers in the first half and 12 for the game, including five by Hunter.
Kickert sent another Broncos player to the locker room early in the second half when he elbowed Angley in the lip. Angley returned to the game after receiving five stitches from Ballesteros.