St. Mary's hopes to do well at WCC

March 5, 2010 8:58:36 PM PST
The St. Mary's basketball team heads to Las Vegas this weekend for the West Coast Conference tournament.

They'll play their first game on Sunday and at this point, it is unknown who they are going to face, but with an NCAA tournament bid hanging in the balance, they are hoping for one more shot at Gonzaga.

They have won 24 games, they have one of the best big men in the country -- Omar Samhan, leading the conference in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

But will that be enough to get into the NCAA tournament? The Gaels head into the West Coast Conference tournament still unsure whether they will make the NCAA's.

"We better be ready to play. It's like let's make sure we're ready to play, we're defending well, rebounding well, taking good shots. We need to kind of concentrate on us right now," says St. Mary's head coach Randy Bennett.

St. Mary's big problem is two nationally-televised losses to powerhouse Gonzaga. The Gaels hope to get another crack at the 'Zags in the WCC tournament.

"I think you might be able to still sneak in even if you don't beat Gonzaga. They beat us twice this year, but I don't think they're a ton better than us. I think they are a very beatable team," says Samhan.

The Gaels hope history does not repeat itself. Last year, they had a great regular season, but were denied a bid to the NCAA's.

"That stayed with us and it made us work harder of reaching that goal of WCC champions and getting to the tournament again," says St. Mary's forward Clint Steindl.


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