Many thought that Villanova did not deserve a No. 2 ranking in the South regional, and this just goes to prove it. St. Mary's College is s small school from Moraga, CA, and has the bad luck to play in the West Coast Conference, where it has to face up with perennial NCAA Basketball tournament team Gonzaga.
St. Mary's College had some help, or rather, Villanova got no help, from Scottie Reynolds. Reynolds went 2 of 11 from the field in a forgettable end to his career. In total, the Villanova senior was 4 of 24 in the NCAA tournament.
St. Mary's College was led by Omar Samhan, the 6-foot-11 St. Mary's College center, who scored 32 points in the victory. For Villanova, Corey Stokes scored 15 in a losing cause.
St. Mary's College roared to an early lead. At the half, the Gaels led 38-31. Villanova, however, persevered, and tied the game at 58-all with 10:07. The game was tight the rest of the way.
St. Mary's College took the lead for good when Mickey McConnell's banked-in 3-pointer with 1:15 left broke a 65-all tie. From there, it was desperation fouls for Villanova, but St. Mary's College did not fold.
St. Mary's College, seeded 10th in the South regional, now moves on to the Sweet Sixteen. Next Friday, in Houston, they will face the winner of the game between Baylor (3) and Old Dominion (11).
Written by Michael Santo