Moraga, Calif. – In a game that had mid-major basketball fans salivating when the schedules were released, Saint Mary’s earned a wire-to-wire 72-58 win over New Mexico at the UCU Pavilion Thursday night.
The Gaels led 40-25 at halftime and extended the advantage to as much as 22 in the second half. Saint Mary’s limited the Lobos 33.3% shooting in the first half and 37.1% for the game.
Looking to avenge last season’s four-point loss, SMC jumped right out the gates on fire by scoring 13 of the game’s first 15 points to take a double-digit lead five minutes into the contest.
UNM made a push to pull within six with 3:45 remaining before halftime, but Saint Mary’s answered by closing the period with an 11-2 spurt.
Sophomore sensation Aidan Mahaney showed up once again in a big-time game. He tied a career-high with 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting, including 5-for-10 from 3-point land. The 6-foot-3-inch guard scored 21 in the first half. He also pulled down four rebounds.
Sophomore Aidan Mahaney is making a case to be an all American player and a potential first round draft pick— Pistons Draft Talk (@PDTScouting) November 10, 2023
Aidan is one of the best shotmakers in college and continues to show out against the nations best pic.twitter.com/xMQMBJJou1
Harry Wessels was also in double figures as he matched a career-best as well with 12 points to go along with five boards.
New Mexico was without Jaelen House. The Lobos were led by Donovan Dent’s career-high 15 points and five assists. Nelly Junior Joseph notched a double-double with 11 points and 13 boards in his second game as a Lobo.
The Gaels, who are traditionally one of the best defensive teams in the country, are now giving up an average of 43 points per game.
Saint Mary’s (2-0) is scheduled to host Weber State on Sunday before another highly anticipated showdown when it takes on San Diego State in the Continental Tires Main Event next Friday.
The Lobos (1-1) will look to bounce back at home against UT Arlington on Thursday before squaring off against Toledo in the Ball Dawgs Classic.