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Saint Mary's 81, Utah State 73

MORAGA, Calif. - Jordan Ford scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and sparked a run of 11 straight points late in the game to lead Saint Mary's to an 81-73 victory over No. 15 Utah State.

Ford took the game over in the second half while his teammates struggled to make shots and helped the Gaels (7-1) get their first home win over a ranked team in nearly eight years. Saint Mary's last beat a ranked team at home on Jan. 12, 2012, against No. 21 Gonzaga and hadn't beaten a top 15 team here since upsetting Oregon on Nov. 20, 2007.

Justin Bean scored a career-high 24 points and Sam Merrill added 23 to lead the Aggies (7-1), who had been off to their best start since winning their first eight games in 1961-62.

It was a back-and-forth game with 13 ties and 23 lead changes that went down to the last minutes. Utah State had opened a four-point lead before Ford hit a 3-pointer. He then fed Malik Fitts for a dunk that put the Gaels up 66-65 with 3:29 to play on their first basket by someone other than Ford in more than eight minutes.

Bean answered with two free throws to put Utah State back up before back-to-back 3s from Ford and Tanner Krebs sparked the big run that put the game away.

Fitts finished with 21 points and Matthias Tass added 15.

Saint Mary's went nearly six minutes without a basket in the first half before making five straight from the field to take a 32-28 lead on a 9-0 run capped by back-to-back baskets from Tass.

But two late 3-pointers from Merrill gave Utah State a 36-34 lead at the half.

Associated Press


November 29, 2019

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