GAME NOTES: The Saint Mary's Gaels will look to bounce back as they take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the third place game of the DirecTV Classic at Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
The Gaels had their 4-0 run halted on Friday as they were handed an unexpected 76-66 setback by the Pacific. The Tigers, who came into the tourney with an unimpressive 1-2 record, shot 53.1 percent from the field and was 21- of-26 from the free-throw line versus the Gaels, who shot just 41.8 percent from the field and set a new season-low with 66 points. Saint Mary�s, in its 13th season under head coach Randy Bennett, has won 25 or more games in five straight campaigns. After Friday's loss, the Gaels are now a still impressive 73-13 against non-conference foes in the last seven seasons.
Georgia Tech has a much different style than the high-scoring Gaels. The Yellow Jackets were a relentless team on the defensive end to start the season, as all three of their wins ended with a frustrated opponent. Coach Brian Gregory's team looked like it was indestructible in the first round when it held Rice to only 22.9 percent shooting from the floor. However, California had the anecdote in the second round as it handed the Yellow Jackets a 68-57 loss. The Golden Bears' total of 68 points set their new season-low, but it was enough to create distance on the scoreboard from Georgia Tech, which produces only 60.5 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting.
This will be the first meeting in history between these programs.
Although Saint Mary's suffered a loss its last time out, it is unlikely to be defeated very often this season with senior point guard Matthew Dellavedova running the show. The all-time leader in assists at Saint Mary's can hurt opposing defenses in multiple ways. Dellavedova exploded for 32 points versus Drexel in the first round before netting 16 in the loss to Pacific. He is scoring 19.6 points a contest, while handing out 4.2 assists per game. Junior guard Stephen Holt and junior forward Beau Levesque each netted 15 points in Friday's loss. With Dellavedova at the center of the attack, the Gaels are posting 77.8 points per game, while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor.
Georgia Tech does not light up the scoreboard on a regular basis, but it does do things on the offensive end to complement its defensive strength. The Yellow Jackets have a combined 49-to-41 assist-to-turnover ratio and a +1.2 turnover margin. The team is led by the trio of Kammeon Holsey (12.0 ppg), Marcus Georges-Hunt (11.5 ppg), and Mfon Udofia (10 ppg) on the offensive end. Udofia netted a team-high 16 points versus Cal, while Holsey managed to score 14 despite being limited to 20 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.
The Yellow Jackets are going to be able to shut down many of their non- conference foes with their hustle and effort-based gameplan. The Gaels will find themselves in trouble if their shot selections are questionable, but that is unlikely with Dellavedova leading the unit.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Mary's 70, Georgia Tech 62
11/25 10:33:54 ET
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