Gaels Beat the Cougars!
SMC beats BYU for the 18th time!
Image C/O Tod Fierner/SMC Athletics
By Vivian Hill
Whether you watched from home or on campus at the University Credit Union Pavillion in Moraga, you could feel the energy and the Gael’s fighting spirit throughout the game against Brigham Young University. Starting out,odds were in favor of the Gaels, 91.7% to 8.3%, but BYU did not let this hold them back. Within the first few minutes BYU was out for blood and the Gaels’ Logan Johnson was pushing back, taking the rest of the team with him. This created an issue for the Gaels, since their usual style is playing the slow game. With BYU not giving the team a chance to take control of the speed and tempo, the Gaels defense was seriously impacted. Furthermore, it was clear that this game became extremely physical, and no easy points were left on the table. It was set in stone from the beginning that the star of the first half was none other than number 0, Logan Johnson.
This was Johnson’s major comeback game after the Gonzaga game, and he played with full force. Hecame to fight, bringing his pride to the forefront of the game. Getting every turnover and bringing the rest of the team together, playing at their tempo. As one of the announcers put it “...this is a Johnson and Johnson show.” Johnson made the effort to make this game the game that will change the tempo of the rest of the season. Backing Logan up in the first half was freshman star Aidan Mahaney. Mahaney did not try to force his chances to take a shot, but rather welcomed opportunities as they came. If the first half of this game belonged to Johnson, then the second half was Mahaney’s.
Leading the score at the second half 33 to 27, Mahaney was an unexpected star. He waited till the second half to start scoring some major points. Almost instinctively, the Gaels shifted their plays for Mahaney to get his foot in the door. By the end of the gameMahaney was putting his mark on the game,with Johnson backing him up. With A]an edge being made, Mahaney took every shot he could and led the Gaels to an overwhelming victory of 71 to 65.
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Ryan Ford '23,