Saint Mary’s tops Oregon 62-50, advances to Maui title game

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dan Fotu scored 16 points and Saint Mary’s defeated Oregon 62-50 on Monday in a semfinal of the Maui Invitational.

The Gaels (6-0) got double-digit scoring from four players, while hitting 52.1 % (25 of 48) from the floor, and controlled the flow for most of the game.

Tommy Kuhse had 13, Alex Ducas scored 12 and Logan Johnson chipped in 11 for the Gaels.

St. Mary’s will face Wisconsin in Wednesday’s championship game.

Oregon (3-2) was led by Eric Williams Jr., who had 13 points and 5 rebounds, his fourth straight double-digit scoring outing.

After falling behind by as many as 16 early in the second half, the Ducks finally showed some life, hitting 9 of 11 from the floor over a nearly seven-minute stretch to get within single digits at 48-40.

But as they did all night, the Gaels got timely buckets to stave off the Ducks, including an Alex Ducas 3-pointer to push the lead back to 11 with 7:46 left in the game.

Neither team had productive numbers in the first half, but the Gaels played with better energy at both ends of the court. Oregon found no rhythm over the first 20 minutes and appeared to have no confidence in its shot selection, struggling to find high-percentage looks.

Saint Mary’s is one of three teams in Division I that returned every point scored from last year. The Gaels faced reigning national runner-up and current No. 1 Gonzaga three times last season and certainly showed no fear staying in Oregon’s face on defense.

After trading baskets and falling behind 6-4 early, the Gaels went on a 15-7 run while keeping the Ducks out of sync.

After making their first three shot attempts, the Ducks went 4 for 24 over the final 17:09 of the first half. Oregon averaged 33.2 points in the first half through its first four games but trailed 23-15 at halftime in this one. Even worse for the Ducks, they were a meager 3 of 13 on dunks and layups in the first half.

Oregon’s biggest offensive threat, Will Richardson, went 0 for 5 and was scoreless Monday against Chaminade and was 0 for 3 in the first half against the Gaels.

And while multiple reserves set season-highs against Chaminade, and the Oregon bench scored 36 points Monday, it was Saint Mary’s bench with an 18-11 advantage on Tuesday, including a 10-0 edge at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels have out-rebounded their opponent in all six games this season, a combined 187-165 edge.

Oregon: Ten Oregon players scored in the tournament opener, with seven Ducks scoring eight points or more. Tuesday night only seven Ducks scored.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary’s: Will play Wisconsin in Wednesday’s championship game of the Maui Invitational.

Oregon: Will play No. 12 Houston in Wednesday’s third place game of the Maui Invitational.

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