St. Mary's Fends Off Santa Clara

Simpson makes clutch free throws to lock up 54-50 victory
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 4:58 AM CST
St. Mary's Patty Mills (13) shoots past Santa Clara's Brody Angley, left, and Cedric Latimer in the first half of a college basketball game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Feb. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The 8-1 St. Mary's Gaels, riding their best start in team history, beat Santa Clara 54-50 last night for a fourth straight victory. Diamon Simpson, a 61% career free-throw shooter, made two clutch shots to break a tie in the game's final minute, and Tron Smith sank two more for good measure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Smith went 4-for-5 for 15 points, with Simpson bringing in 12 for the Gaels. The 21st-ranked team struggled for much of the game, but capitalized on 18 Bronco turnovers and put together some effective teamwork. Santa Clara mainly let John Bryant do the scoring, but his 21 points and 12 rebounds weren't enough on their own to effect a Broncos upset.