Last week's analysis of the Gaels' hyper-efficient offense failed to mention one Calvin Hermanson. The sophomore forward erupted for a career high 23 points tonight.
Hermanson began the game three of four from long range. That start was simply foreshadowing as the Gaels went on to hit 19 threes.
Saint Mary's beautiful, disciplined and ruthlessly effective offense was on full display against Cal Poly. Joe Rahon, coming off a big game against California, was held relatively in check. So his running mate Emmett Naar stepped up and dished out a career high 11 assists — the Gaels assisted on 28 of their 34 field goals. Cal Poly went with a zone to stifle the Gaels' pick and roll game, so the Gaels just shot over it (19 of 31 from deep).
That's a program record from long range.
Randy Bennett may have jokingly given away the Gaels strategy after the game, saying to the sideline reporter, "It's always part of our strategy, to break the school record in threes."
Three point sharpshooter Stefan Gonzalez came off the bench, hit 5-7 from long range which gave the freshman a career high 15 points.
The Gaels are is one of the slowest teams in the nation, with their possessions lasting 19.5 seconds on average (16th longest in the nation). Yet they still managed to score 93 points tonight. Saint Mary's put on a clinic in how to put up points while possessing the ball for as long as possible.
Constant probing, ball movement, head fakes and shot fakes allow the Gales to keep the defense from settling. Potential shots then become good shots which eventually turn into great shots, even if they come with just a couple of seconds left on the clock.
For the Mustangs the best performer was former Gonzaga reserve forward Luke Meikle who had 18 points and six rebounds off the bench.