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NCAA Game Summary - Saint Mary's vs. Middle Tennessee



(Tuesday, March 19th)

Final Score: Saint Mary's 67, Middle Tennessee 54

Dayton, OH (Sports Network) - Matthew Dellavedova carried Saint Mary's to a first-round win in the NCAA Tournament Tuesday with a 22-point effort as the Gaels upended Middle Tennessee, 67-54, at University of Dayton Arena.

The meeting pitted questionable at-large teams from smaller conferences as No. 11 seeds, and Dellavedova made sure the Gaels proved they belonged in the Midwest Region's round-of-64. The program's all-time leader in scoring, assists, 3-pointers and games played connected of 5-of-7 from behind the arc and added six rebounds and four assists.

Stephen Holt chipped in 18 points for Saint Mary's (28-6), which advanced to face sixth-seeded Memphis in Auburn Hills, MI on Thursday.

Marcos Knight paced Middle Tennessee (28-6) with 16 points, while Kerry Hammonds and Neiko Hunter each had 10 for the Sun Belt Conference regular season champs.

"The stat of the game was the free throw line. They shot 25 times, and we shot seven," Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis said. "That was kind of the difference in the game."

The Blue Raiders, playing their first NCAA Tournament game since 1989, started out strong and led 16-13 following a Raymond Cintron 3-pointer midway through the first half.

But the next 10 minutes saw Middle Tennessee make just one field goal, and the ensuing 16-4 run gave the West Coast Conference runner-ups a 29-20 lead at intermission.

Following his 12-point half, Dellavedova added two 3-pointers in the first five minutes after the break, the second yielding a 39-28 cushion.

Middle Tennessee, nine days removed from an unlikely loss to Florida International in the SBC Tournament semifinals, answered with a 10-2 run, but that was as close as it got.

Dellavedova, who was 1-of-18 from 3-point range the previous three games, hit another from the perimeter during a 7-0 run that extended the margin to 54-42 with six minutes to play.

"I didn't know...I was 1-for-18 on my last threes," Dellavedova said. "That didn't even enter my head. I've always got confidence the next one's going down."

Soon after, Holt scored eight straight points for the Gaels to help seal their first NCAA tourney win since advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2010.

It was the first time all season Middle Tennessee lost back-to-back games.

Game Notes

Saint Mary's is playing in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history. The Gaels lost to Purdue in their opening tournament game last year ... Middle Tennessee was just the second Sun Belt team to earn an at- large bid since 1994 (South Alabama, 2008) ... Beau Levesque scored 13 points for the Gaels, who improved to 4-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... Middle Tennessee fell to 2-7 in the event.

03/20 01:53:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
GWI 7
DUR 1
 
6:35pm Tonight
GWI
DUR
 
Final
PIT 5
STL 2
Final
BAL 4
TAM 2
Final
PHI 4
WAS 3
Final
TOR 7
BOS 11
Final
DET 5
NYY 2
Final
NYM 3
ATL 2
Final
CIN 0
CHC 3
Final
CWS 6
CLE 8
Final
KAN 2
MIN 1
Final
HOU 4
OAK 2
Final
ARI 5
LOS 9
Final
ANA 8
MIA 2
Final
SDP 4
MIL 1
Final
SEA 5
TEX 0
Final
SFG 3
COL 0
12:35pm Today
PIT
STL
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
TEX
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TAM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
CHC
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
9:10pm Tonight
SDP
MIL
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
MIA
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
COL
 
Final
GWI 7
DUR 1
 
6:35pm Tonight
GWI
DUR