Senior day in San Diego got off to just about as perfect of a start as it could have for the home team. Johnny Dee, who moved past 2,000 career points in this game, scored the first eight points for the Toreros. His senior back court counterpart, Christopher Anderson, tallied four quick steals.
Dee's scoring and Anderson's defense allowed the Toreros to start the game strong and build an 8-0 and then 12-5 lead.
The Gaels are a veteran, offensive minded team. San Diego is really bad at scoring the basketball. So, things would change.
They did when San Diego went 7:36 without scoring, during which Saint Mary's scored 13 straight to take the lead. The Gaels went on a 20-1 run over ten minutes. They very nearly held the Toreros scoreless from the field over the final ten minutes of the half but Christopher Anderson drilled a three at the buzzer.
Over the course of the second half the Toreros slowly clawed their way back. A 14-0 run with less than ten minutes to play returned the lead to the home team. In what was either some sort of divine intervention or the best player in Toreros' history just doing work, Johnny Dee hit a three with 6:29 to play which gave the Toreros their first lead since the first half.
That three not only gave San Diego a two point lead, but it pushed Dee past the 2,000 career point mark.
Aaron Bright stepped up big for the Gaels after that three from Dee, scoring nine of the Gaels' 12 points over the final five-and-a-half minutes.
Calvin Hermanson came up short on a three with 37 seconds left but the Gaels knocked the rebound back out to him and he drilled his second look from deep. San Diego got the ball, with the shot clock turned off, up by a point.
On the ensuing inbounds play the Gaels fouled Johnny Dee, who led the nation in free throw percentage last season. He missed. The Gaels got the rebound but lost the ball on the break to none other than Johnny Dee.
He didn't miss his free throws this time, so San Diego led by three with 10 seconds to play.
It just couldn't be that Johnny Dee would miss his final shot from the free throw line at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The basketball gods would not let that happen.
Aaron Bright drilled a three, tied the game, and the Toreros weren't able to answer before the buzzer. Overtime in the Slim Gym.
The offensive struggles from early in the game returned in the overtime period. Aaron Bright hit a circus shot over the long arm of Jito Kok with 1:14 to play to give Saint Mary's the lead. San Diego answered with a Duda Sanadze drive, on which he got fouled but could not knock down what would have likely been the game winning free throw.
Double overtime in the Slim Gym.
Just like how it went during regulation, the Toreros weren't able to keep the Gaels offense in check forever. Five quick points to open the second overtime gave Saint Mary's all the momentum. Then Johnny Dee went down hard on his shooting shoulder and had to come out of the game.
He returned shortly after, but it was too late. Saint Mary's bounced back from Thursday's loss at BYU with a much needed win, 69-62.
Brad Waldow had the game high in scoring with 22 points but it was Aaron Bright (15 points) who scored the big buckets for Saint Mary's.
Johnny Dee scored 21 points in his final home game and Christopher Anderson dished out 11 assists.
San Diego falls to 14-13 (7-8) while Saint Mary's improves to 19-6 (11-3).