Headband-wearing, glasses-sporting Calvin Hermanson schooled Nerd Nation Wednesday night, as No. 12 Saint Mary’s topped Stanford 66-51 at Maples Pavilion.
The Gaels trailed by four at the half, but scored the first 12 of the second half to take control.
Hermanson shot a blistering 7-9 from behind the arc and finished with 25 points to lead the way for the Gaels. It helped make up for a quiet night from leading-scorer Jock Landale, who came in averaging 21 points per game, but struggled against Stanford reserve center Grant Verhoeven.
The Cardinal starters struggled all night, with Verhoeven and Robert Cartwright leading the way with 12 and 10 points respectively. Overall, the Cardinal shot a solid 35 percent, but that paled in comparison to the Gaels’ 55 percent clip.
Guard play made the difference in this game as Joe Rahon and Emmett Naar paved the Gaels’ path to a win with 14 assists, many to Hermanson. For Stanford, Dorian Pickens, who came in averaging 15 points per game for Stanford, shot 0-4 and finished with two points.
Success in the paint will be crucial for both going teams going forward. Landale is Saint Mary’s’ key to victory, no matter how stellar Hermanson is playing, so he’ll need to find a way to score against solid opponents.
With the win, Saint Mary’s continues its unbeaten streak to start the season, with four of its six wins coming against KenPom top 100 teams.
The Gaels will have a week off to celebrate the win, but will face a tough contest next Thursday at home against a UT Arlington team that knocked off Texas earlier in the week.