Coming off the high of a stunning upset over Gonzaga a week ago, Saint Mary’s was sent home early from the NCAA Tournament, losing a first-round game to the defending national champions Villanova.
Phil Booth scored 20 points, fellow senior Eric Paschell added 14 and No. 6 seed Villanova held off Saint Mary’s 61-57 in the first round of the South Region.
Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts each had 13 points for Saint Mary’s, which never trailed by more than eight but also couldn’t draw even down the stretch.
The Gaels’ last chance ended with a steal by Saddiq Bey in the final seconds, and the Wildcats were on to face the Purdue-Old Dominion winner for a Sweet 16 spot
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Saint-Marys-Knocked-Off-in-First-Round-of-NCAA-Tournament-507496351.html.