Saint Mary’s beats Morgan State
MORAGA, Calif. (AP)—Diamon Simpson had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Patty Mills added 13 points and Saint Mary’s easily beat Morgan State 76-60 to win the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic championship on Sunday.
Simpson, who was named the tournament MVP, now has 908 career rebounds and needs only nine to pass Tom Meschery for the Gaels’ career record. Meschery had 916 rebounds from 1958-61. Simpson also had a career-high seven blocked shots to move into second place on the West Coast Conference career chart with 209.
Omar Samhan added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Gaels (12-1), who have never lost in the six-year history of their own tournament. Saint Mary’s has won nine straight overall this season, its longest since a nine-game streak in 2004-05. Samhan and Mills were named to the all-tournament team.
Kevin Thompson had 18 points and six rebounds for Morgan State (5-7), which snapped a three-game win streak with the loss. Jermaine Bolden added 14 points while Rodney Stokes had 10 points and six rebounds for the Bears.
Simpson had 11 points in the first half then scored the Gaels’ first five points in the second half as Saint Mary’s built a 24-point lead then cruised to their 20th consecutive regular-season win at home. Simpson picked up his 10th rebound with just over four minutes remaining and Gaels’ coach Randy Bennett pulled him shortly afterward.
Saint Mary’s led most of the first half but needed a 13-4 run late to pull away and take a 48-37 lead into the break.
Simpson got the Gaels going in the second half then Mills scored on a fastbreak to cap an 11-3 burst that made it 59-40. Consecutive 3-pointers from Mickey McConnell and Clint Steidl later pushed Saint Mary’s lead to 69-45.
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