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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Difference makers: Aidan Mahaney delivers late scoring flurry, leads No.18 Saint Mary’s to comeback win over No. 12 Gonzaga

Feb. 4, 2023 Updated Sat., Feb. 4, 2023 at 10:25 p.m.

Aidan Mahaney

The freshman struggled out of the gates but came alive when Saint Mary’s needed it while playing much of the game with four fouls. Mahaney had just two points at halftime, going 1 of 7 from the field and 0 of 4 from the 3-point line. The young guard, who grew up just a few miles from the Saint Mary’s campus, went on a scoring burst in the second half, making six layups inside the final 6 minutes and 25 seconds. Of Mahaney’s team-high 18 points, 13 came in the second half and three in overtime. Mahaney managed to stay on the floor after picking up his fourth foul with 10:57 remaining in the second half.

Drew Timme

Saint Mary’s tried out a few defensive schemes on the senior forward, using a single defender to guard him on certain possessions and bringing a double team on others. None was too effective at limiting the conference’s leading scorer. Timme finished with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line. The Texas native needed just 10 points to move past Jim McPhee on Gonzaga’s career scoring list and reached that total early in the second half. Timme also tied Frank Burgess’ school record for made field goals (800).

Turning point

Mahaney’s late-game heroics rescued Saint Mary’s and gave the Gaels a two-game lead on Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference standings. The seven-time WCC Player of the Week tied the game twice inside the closing minutes, making a layup to knot the score at 57 before converting an impressive scoop shot over Anton Watson to tie it at 59. Mahaney missed a 3-point attempt that would’ve given Saint Mary’s the lead with 49 seconds left but made his next, hitting a deep shot off the glass to give the Gaels a 68-64 lead in overtime. Mahaney zipped a bullet pass to Mitchell Saxen on the Gaels’ next possession to make it 70-64.

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