Gaels take care of business against Pepperdine

If Omar Samhan has realized anything this season, it’s that he can’t be stopped.

The Saint Mary’s center continued his dominance Thursday night as he recorded a double-double, scoring 20 points and adding 10 rebounds while also becoming the Gaels’ all-time leader in blocks with 240, surpassing Diamon Simpson who has 239, in a resounding 76-49 win over Pepperdine at McKeon Pavilion.

The Waves (3-10 WCC, 7-22 overall), who sit just two spots from the West Coast Conference cellar, were never going to be much of a challenge for the Saint Mary’s Gaels in the second to last game of the WCC regular season. Once again the crowd was in full force, and the Gaels fans know that they will only have one more oppurtunity – Saturday against Loyola Marymount – to see Samhan and forward Ben Allen grace the home hardwood, as they are both seniors.

Allen contributed 13 points and 8 boards to the Gaels’ cause while freshman guard Matthew Dellavedova added 17 points of his own to help the Gaels to their 10th win in conference play.

Saint Mary’s (10-3, 23-5) started the game strong, going up 12-4 early on. They went on to lead the Waves the entire game. The Gaels quashed any hopes of Pepperdine coming back in the game when Dellavedova hit back-to-back three pointers with about two minutes to play before the halftime interval. He scored 8 consecutive points before Jordan Page hit a free throw to put the Gaels ahead 34-17.

As the second half began, Pepperdine implemented a never-say-die attitude and started strong while going on a 9-4 run. It was short-lived, however, as an Allen tap in and a Dellavedova shot from downtown sparked a 9-0 run and provided the Gaels with the momentum they needed to put the game out of reach. Dellavedova had a particularly strong game from behind the arch, finishing 5-7 on three-pointers. The Gaels went on to add to their lead down the stretch, and eventually came out with a persuasive 76-49 win.

The Gaels have one more opportunity to please their adoring fans on Saturday, and from there on all is up in the air as the team will head to Las Vegas for the WCC Tournament to try and secure a spot in the Big Dance.

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