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Saint Mary's 80 Richmond 71.

Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach Chris Mooney, Kevin Anderson & David Gonzalvez:

They won with selfless passing, uncanny three point shooting and by sharing the basketball.


No, Saint Mary's.

The Spiders (26-9) were unable to stop 6'11" the Gaels' bulky senior center Omar Samhan, who scored 29 points inside and grabbed 12 rebounds in just 28 minutes of play.

"A big part of the game was we couldn't guard Omar," said Richmond head coach Chris Mooney, who remains winless in the NCAA Tournament as a player, assistant coach and head coach. "Even when he got into foul trouble and came out a couple times, in the first half we were able to establish our speed a little bit, in the second half not as much.

"Our inability to guard him led to some other problems," Mooney added. "They made some timely three point shots. Obviously, they really hurt us on the backboard. I thought it started with him."

With four ace shooters set up on the perimeter, Mooney chose not to double team Samhan, who was able to get his soft inside shots over the Spiders' smaller Ryan Butler and Justin Harper. Samhan found advantageous interior position time and time again in scoring situations.

Richmond took an early 9-2 lead on a push in the lane by Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Kevin Anderson, but Samhan had his team's first 10 as the Gaels moved in front 10-9 on a feathery spin move in the paint.

Samhan picked up his third personal foul with 6:40 left in the first half and the Spiders leading by a pair. With Samhan on the bench, Richmond was not able to build their lead and went to the half tied at 36 as Saint Mary's Mickey McConnell snapped a three point shot with 10 seconds to play.

Going deep into their bench and calling on little-used freshman forward Beau Levesque, who played a style that mirrored Richmond at De La Salle High School - alma mater of Marcus Schroeder and Lincoln Gunn - the Gaels zipped touch passes with Samhan unavailable and swung the ball inside, outside and around the horn, 8-19 from three.

When Samhan committed his fourth personal at the 9:13 mark of the second half, Saint Mary's had extended their advantage to 59-50.

Samhan wasn't needed. The Gaels again increased their edge, building as much as a 17 point lead before a flurry of Richmond three pointers in the final five minutes.

For much of the game Samhan had as many rebounds (12) as the entire Richmond team. Saint Mary's grabbed 11 of the game's first 12 boards and had a 16-6 advantage at halftime. The game finished with Richmond -23 on the glass.

The Gaels had more offensive rebounds (19) than Richmond's combined rebounding total.

McConnell hit five times from deep on his way to a 23 point performance for Saint Mary's (27-5), who recorded their first NCAA Tournament triumph since 1959, when they defeated Idaho State by the same score as today's final.

David Gonzalvez paced Richmond with 18 points in his last collegiate game. Anderson added 16, 11 of those coming in the first half.

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