James Walker III scored a game-high 21 points and the host Gaels rallied for the victory in the opening round of the NIT. Stephen Holt added 15 points for Saint Mary's, which will face top-seeded Minnesota in the second round. Kerry Carter had eight of his 10 points in a game-changing run late in the second half for the Gaels (23-11). Jordan Loveridge led Utah (21-12) with 16 points but the Utes committed 21 turnovers and blew an 11-point lead. Brandon Taylor finished with 14 points and Delon Wright added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Utes, who fell to 11-11 all-time in NIT play. Utah scored the game's first 11 points but the Gaels finished the first half on a 6-0 and trailed just 30-23 at the break. Saint Mary's closed the gap holding Utah without a point for the final five minutes of the first half. The Gaels used a 13-0 run to take control in the final minutes and took their first lead 52-50 after Carter picked off a pass and turned it into a layup with 4:03 left. Carter also hit two 3-pointers in the run and Beau Levesque, who was just 2-for-12 from the field, hit another. GAME NOTEBOOK: Saint Mary's last home loss to a non-conference opponent came against Kent State in the 2011 NIT. ...Gaels C Matt Hodgson suffered an ankle injury with 1:35 left and did not return. ...Brad Waldow finished with four points and eight rebounds for the Gaels.
St. Mary's 70, Utah 58
ProSportsDaily | Mar 19