Matthew Dellavedova fires 21, lifts Saint Mary’s past Santa Clara
Moraga, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Matthew Dellavedova scored 21 points to become Saint Mary’s all-time leading scorer as the Gaels tightened their defense in the dying minutes to turn a close game into an 80-67 triumph over Santa Clara Saturday at McKeon Pavilion.
Dellavedova shot 7-for-16 from the field to reach 1,892 points, eclipsing the previous record of 1,874 set by fellow Australian Daniel Kickert as the Gaels’ bagged their fifth straight win after losing to No. 5 Gonzaga on Valentine’s Day.
“The best thing about Matt is he couldn’t care less about the scoring, the assists, any of that. He cares about his team winning,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said.
“It’s pretty easy to coach when your best player, all-time leading scorer, all-time in assists, the most important thing to him is his team wins,” Bennett added.
Stephen Holt added 13 and senior Mitchell Young had 12 for the Gaels, who improved to 26-5 (14-2 West Coast Conference).
Marc Trasolini scored 21 points, Kevin Foster had 14, Evan Roquemore tallied 11 and Brandon Clark contributed 10 for the Broncos, who slipped to 21-10 (9-7 WCC).
The Gaels turned up the defensive heat in the last three minutes to turn a three-point lead into a 72-62 lead.
A steal by Brad Waldow and three foul shots by Holt put Saint Mary’s up 68-62 with 2:10 left.
The Gaels’ choking defense forced the Broncos to fire a pair of long 3-pointers and on the other end, sank four foul shots to make it a 10-point game.
“Down the stretch, we got stops when we needed to. We hit our free throws down the stretch,” Bennett said.
The Gaels will next see action at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas where they hold the second seed and a bye to the semifinal round. The loss dropped the Broncos to fourth seed while BYU is the third seed.