SaintMary’s came off a strong performance against Middle Tennessee Statelooking like a team prepared to make a run in the tournament.Unfortunately for the Gaels, they could not get past the superiorathleticism of the Memphis Tigers, who won the game 54-52.
TheGaels continued to fight and scrap until the end, closing the gap to 5points when Eividas Petrulis nailed a 3 pointer with 3 seconds left. TheGaels were then able to force a turnover with Memphis knocking the ballout of bounds thanks to incredible defense by Saint Mary’s.
With just under 2 seconds left, the Gaels found Matthew Dellavedova for a last minute shot that went long.
A32-22 lead at halftime by the Tigers was made possible by a 13-2 run toclose the first 20 minutes. Memphis, however, was intent on maintainingthe lead and came out strong out of the gate in the second half.
The incredible effort of Saint Mary’s was enough to close the gap but not enough for the win.
Partof the success for the Tigers came in their ability to hold Gaels starDellavedova to 10 points. The Senior guard averaged 16 ppg throughoutthe season.
Asthey have all season, Memphis relied on a balanced approach, but it wasleading scorer Joe Jackson (13.6 ppg) who led the charge with 14points. Adonis Thomas and Tarik Black each added 12 points for theTigers.
Memphiswill proceed to the Round of 32 to face a Michigan State team thatlooked stronger than the Tigers on Thursday. Our analysis would indicatethat the Spartans should be favored here.