Matthew Dellavedova said after the win over San Francisco on Saturday that it was time Saint Mary’s played the way it should be.
"We can't wait until the end of conference to really decide to dig in,” Dellavedova said. “I think we've made that decision. We didn't play well in the first half, at the end of the first half at Gonzaga but in the second half we really fought hard.
“If we can keep working hard in practice and trying to execute in games... I think we've got room to grow and improve as the season continues."
Generally making a habit of getting down by double digits in the first halves of games is not a good idea. Generally teams that do that don’t win all too often, especially against good teams.
Saint Mary’s (14-4, 3-1 WCC) has comebacks of 16, 19, and 20 points this season and none more dramatic that their win Wednesday night on a game-winning half court heave from Dellavedova.
The Gaels, who were often criticized for their weak out of conference schedule, have now won six of their last seven games and are picking up some heavy momentum in the first few games of conference play.
Many even around the Saint Mary’s campus weren’t sure about the NCAA hopes of this year’s team especially after the loss to a mediocre Northern Iowa team.
They entered the BYU game with a RPI of 72 and this win should have them squarely back in the conversation for an at-large bid. Let’s also consider they now face teams with losing records in four of their next five games and the other is at McKeon Pavilion.
Saint Mary’s could very quickly be 19-4. I think that puts you in the conversation for the NCAA Tournament.
There is a “no quit” attitude to this team and it should suit the defending West Coast Conference champions.
San Diego in first
While Saint Mary’s was making all the news, San Diego (11-8, 4-0) took over first place in the WCC with their win over Loyola Marymount. The Toreros had three players in double figures including another strong performance from Cameron Miles off the bench.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @Zack_Farmer