No. 18 Saint Mary’s beats San Francisco 70-66 for its 14th straight win

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen scored 20 points, Alex Ducas added 18 and No. 18 Saint Mary’s extended the longest active winning streak in the nation to 14 straight games with a 70-66 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday night.

The Gaels (22-6, 13-0 West Coast Conference) remained the only team in the country unbeaten in conference play but it didn’t come easy against their cross-bay rivals.

They came through late to snap a six-game winning streak for the Dons (21-7, 10-3).

Aidan Mahaney added 12 points, including a key 3-pointer late that needed a replay review to count after officials originally ruled it was tipped in after bouncing high off the rim.

Marcus Williams scored 26 points to lead San Francisco.

The Dons went on a 7-0 run midway through the second half to take their first lead since the opening minutes on a 3-pointer by Ndewedo Newbury that made it 46-45.

The game stayed tight from there until Saint Mary’s went on an 8-0 run of its own capped by the big 3-pointer by Mahaney that made it 62-58 with 3:36 to play.

The Gaels never relinquished the lead again and held on for the win.

Saint Mary’s once again was short-handed with forward Joshua Jefferson missing his second straight game with a knee injury.

The Gaels didn’t look sharp early and missed five shots on one trip down the court in the opening minutes. But they got extra chances with strong offensive rebounding and managed to get to the line enough to take a 30-25 halftime lead.


San Francisco: The Dons once again came up on the short end against Saint Mary’s losing for the 10th straight time in the series. San Francisco fell a half-game behind second-place Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s: The win assures the Gaels of a top-two finish in the conference and a spot in the semifinals of the WCC tournament next month in Las Vegas. The Gaels have a 2 1/2-game lead over Gonzaga and can clinch the regular season title with two wins in the final three games.


San Francisco: Hosts Pepperdine on Saturday night.

Saint Mary’s: Hosts San Diego on Saturday night.


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Josh is an NFL writer who covers Raiders and 49ers