Saint Mary’s Pulls Away from Men’s Basketball

Saint Mary’s Pulls Away from Men’s Basketball

MORAGA, Calif. – Jordan Ford posted 18 points and Malik Fitts scored 10 to go along with nine rebounds to lead a balanced offensive attack for Saint Mary's which downed Santa Clara men's basketball, 75-55, on Thursday.

Guglielmo Caruso tallied a career-best 16 points and Trey Wertz added 15 for the Broncos (10-9, 2-3 West Coast Conferencei) who sputtered for stretches on offense, especially in the final 20 minutes half when they hit only 8 of 23 from the floor.

The Gaels (12-7, 3-1) pulled away midway through the second half led by Fitts who scored eight in a row. His 3-pointer with 9:29 left pushed the lead to 58-40 and the Broncos never got closer than 15 the remainder of the game.

The Broncos went without field goal in the second half in a pair 5-minute stretches.

Ford all 10 of his free-throw attempts, but the leading scorer in the league was only 3-for-11 from the field in the game.

The Gaels, who got 28 points from their bench to win their seventh-straight at home, went 22 of 26 from the free-throw line and 9-for-23 from behind the 3-point line.

The teams combined for 37 turnovers with the 19 for the Broncos leading to 22 Saint Mary's points.

Tanner Krebs had nine points and Elijah Thomas scored eight for the Gaels who won for the seventh-straight time in the series.

"We didn't play well tonight and Saint Mary's most certainly did," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said.

Ford didn't score and only had one attempt from the field in the first 11 minutes of the game, but he led the charge for the Gaels, accounting for all the points in a 9-0 run in a 3-minute span that pushed the lead to 29-14.

A Josip Vrankic layup trimmed the lead to 34-24 with 2:31 left, but Jock Perry nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 42-28 lead heading into the locker room.

The Broncos only took two 3-pointers in the opening half and missed both. They came into the game connecting on 8.1 per contest, but went only 2 of 12 in the game.

Tahj Eaddy, Santa Clara's leading scorer (16.6 ppg), was held to eight points, all in the opening half. He went 3-for-7 from the field for the Broncos who connected on 41 percent in the game.

• Santa Clara and Saint Mary's are longtime rivals and original West Coast Conference members. The series began in 1910 and the teams played for the 225th time, the most common opponent in Santa Clara history. The Broncos lead the series 135-90, but the Gaels have won nine of the last 11 meetings, including the last seven. Saint Mary's has won nine of the last 10 at home, including the most recent five.
Guglielmo Caruso (16) scored in double figures for the fourth time this season. During the last four games, he combined to score only six points.
Trey Wertz reached double figures for the second straight game and 10th overall on the season.
Tahj Eaddy had his streak of scoring in double figures snapped at 10 games.

The Broncos end their stretch of three straight on the road on Saturday with a matchup against Pacific. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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