Difference makers: Aidan Mahaney catches fire from deep to lead Saint Mary's over Gonzaga

Mar. 12—Aidan Mahaney

The Saint Mary's sophomore guard was the only player on the floor to hit multiple 3-pointers. Mahaney made two of the Gaels' three 3s and scored 10 points in the opening half as the Gaels built a 31-27 halftime edge. Mahaney was a bigger factor in the second half, connecting on three more 3s, including one that pushed SMC's lead to 42-31. After GU had taken its only lead (52-51), Mahaney capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer after a Gaels offensive rebound with 4:54 left. He led all scorers with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, including 5 of 7 on 3s.

Mitchell Saxen

The senior post gets the nod over guard Augustas Marciulionis. Saxen helped the Gaels get off to a quick start with a couple of early dunks. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds by halftime as Saint Mary's took a 31-27 lead. Saxen wasn't as effective in the second half, but still managed 19 points, 15 boards and two assists in 36 minutes.


Gonzaga never led until Anton Watson hit a pair of free throws to make it 52-51 with 7:41 remaining. Saint Mary's responded with a 7-0 spurt to retake the lead. Saxen made two free throws, Mason Forbes got loose on the baseline for a dunk, and Mahaney made a key 3-pointer to boost the Gaels' lead to 58-52. The run grew to 12-2 after Marciulionis scored to give Saint Mary's a 63-54 lead with 2:15 left.