[2:00 PM] #17 Saint Mary’s @ Dayton

Who will WIN this matchup?

#17 Saint Mary’s Gaels (2-0)

@ Dayton Flyers (2-0)


The line for this game is Dayton by 1 point.

Tightening up the defensive end of the court will be a priority when No. 17 Saint Mary’s hits the road for the first time this season to play Dayton in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon. The Gaels reached triple digits for the first time four years Wednesday in a 110-72 win against Prairie View A&M, but coach Randy Bennett said his team needs to be more engaged on defense after allowing the Panthers to shoot 44.6 percent from the floor.

Jordan Ford may have earned more playing time with his effort against Prairie View A&M. After sitting out the season opener against Nevada with an undisclosed injury, the 6-1 freshman guard scored 12 points against the Panthers, including eight in the final five minutes of the first half to help the Gaels take a 54-37 lead into the break. Tanner Krebs is another freshman who took advantage of the extra playing time Wednesday, scoring 13 points in 22 minutes after going scoreless in 17 minutes against Nevada.

The Flyers have repeatedly shown they can play with teams from the five power conferences, owning a 31-12 record against such schools in the last 10 years, including a 14-3 mark against SEC teams. Vanderbilt was ranked No. 16 last season, one spot better than where Saint Mary’s is now, when it hosted Dayton last December and the Commodores were beaten 72-67 behind 21 points from Pollard. Senior guard Charles Cooke leads the Flyers in scoring at 25 points per game in the early going while draining 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

This is Dayton’s first home game against a ranked non-conference opponent since defeating No. 15 Alabama, 74-62, on Dec. 17, 2011.

Saint Mary’s owns a 113-32 record against non-conference opponents over the last 10 years.

Naar, Landale, Krebs and Pineau are among seven from Australia on the Saint Mary’s roster.


StreakSmarts Pick: Saint Mary’s Gaels

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick