MORAGA, Calif. – Seniors Calvin Hermanson and Jock Landale led the No. 21 ranked St. Mary's Gaels to a 76-57 win over Cal State Fullerton men's basketball on Wednesday night in Moraga, Calif. Hermanson scored a game-high 22 points (6-10 FGA, 4-7 3FG) while Landale battled foul trouble but still scored 15 points (7-10 FGA). Junior Kyle Allman, Jr. scored 13 points for the Titans while sophomore Jackson Rowe did a bit of everything as he scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and tied a career high with three blocked shots.
The Titans shot the ball well, connecting on 22 of their 50 shots (44.0%) but still had ball control issues, committing 21 turnovers that led to 31 points for the Gaels. CSF also shot 12-19 (63.2%) from the free-throw line.
"This game was 100% on us," head coach Dedrique Taylor said. "I don't mean that in any disrespect to St. Mary's, that is a very, very good ball club that we played tonight. I thought our group competed differently tonight than what we did at USC. I thought we competed and gave ourselves a chance. If you look at the stats, all the things that happened negatively, were on us."
Perennially, St. Mary's has one of the most efficient offenses in the country and tonight was no different. The Gaels shot 27-56 (48.2%) from the floor, 7-18 (38.9%) from distance and 15-17 (88.2%) from the stripe with just eight turnovers. Point guard Emmett Naar controlled the game as he scored 11 points, dished out nine assists, grabbed three rebounds and did not commit a turnover. The team assisted on 17 of their 27 buckets.
Prior to the game, Taylor emphasized to the team that they must rebound well and they did that, out-rebounding the Gaels 36-26. Sophomore guard Austen Awosika grabbed six rebounds along with senior center Arkim Robertson to tie for the team lead. However, the Gaels still grabbed seven offensive rebounds and scored 10 second-chance points. On the other end, CSF hauled in seven offensive rebounds but only scored two second-chance points.
In addition to his six rebounds, Awosika also had seven points (5-6 FT) and four assists. Redshirt sophomore Jamal Smith pitched in four points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
CSF shot 12-18 (66.7%) from the field in the first half and 7-10 (70%) from the charity stripe but turned the ball over 13 teams that led to 21 points for the Gaels. The Gaels shot 15-32 (46.9 %) from the field, 3-9 (33.3%) from distance and 6-7 (85.7%) at the free-throw line.
Cal State Fullerton moved to 5-6 all-time against SMC and has now dropped its last eight non-conference road games.
The Titans return to Fullerton for their home opener on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT against Bethesda University.
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