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St. Mary's beats Richmond, ends long NCAA drought

Richmond was on the wrong side of an NCAA Tournament upset this time, and Saint Mary's is moving on for the first time in more than 50 years.

Omar Samhan had 29 points and 12 rebounds despite spending most of the game in foul trouble as Saint Mary's pulled away to beat Richmond, 80-71, yesterday in the first round of the South Regional.

"They didn't have a matchup for Samhan," said Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, who brought the school its first NCAA victory in six tries since 1959. "All year long, when people don't have a matchup for him, our guards are good enough passers, smart enough players - they'll make you pay if you don't have a guy out there that can guard him."

The 10th-seeded Gaels (27-5) will play Saturday against Villanova, a No. 2 seed that escaped from the first round with a 73-70 overtime victory over Robert Morris.

Mickey McConnell, named the West Coast Conference Tournament MVP after the Gaels upset Gonzaga in the title game, scored 23 points for Saint Mary's. Thanks in large part to Samhan, the Gaels held a 40-18 edge on the boards, outrebounding Richmond 19-13 under their own basket for a 21-4 advantage in second-chance points.

"Once he got warm, he ran with it and went on a tear," Richmond forward Darius Garrett said. "You can't let a player like that get comfortable."

David Gonzalvez scored 18 and Kevin Anderson 16 for Richmond (26-9). The Spiders, who lost to Temple in the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship game, have been known as a giant-killer, with a rich NCAA history of knocking off No. 2 seed Syracuse in 1991, defending champions (Indiana in 1988) and future NBA Hall of Famers (Charles Barkley's Auburn team in '84).

The Spiders have won NCAA Tournament games as No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seeds. But playing as a favorite this year for the first time in school history, they failed to make it out of the first round.

"We couldn't guard Omar," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "Our inability to guard him led to other troubles."

Baylor 68, Sam Houston St. 59

Ekpe Udoh had 20 points and 13 rebounds and LaceDarius Dunn scored 13 points to help the third-seeded Bears win an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in 60 years.

Udoh also had five assists, two blocks and two steals for Baylor (26-7), which broke open a close game down the stretch.

It's the school's first tournament win since beating BYU in 1950.

Gilberto Clavell had 23 points and Preston Brown added 13 for 14th seed Sam Houston State (25-8), which tied it at 55 on a short floater by Ashton Mitchell with 3:48 to go.

The game remained tied until Quincy Acy dunked to put Baylor ahead for good with 2:30 left.

- AP


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