The role of 3 in Gaels-Racers

The key to beating Murray State is to slow them down from the 3-point line

Originally Published: February 18, 2012
By Matthew Giles | ESPN Insider
Dellavedova/CanaanUS PresswireIf Dellavedova can't play, the Gaels could have trouble with Canaan and the Racers.

At the beginning of February, both the Murray State Racers and Saint Mary's Gaels found themselves in advantageous positions. The Racers ranked among the nation's top 25 teams and were undefeated, and Saint Mary's had easily handled its West Coast conference opponents.

Much has changed in roughly three weeks; while there is a good chance that both of these teams will still make the NCAA tournament, this BracketBusters matchup finds each squad reeling for the first time this season.

Throughout his coaching career in Moraga, coach Randy Bennett has preached strong perimeter defense; in particular, he has emphasized an unwillingness to allow opponents to convert from beyond the arc. Since 2003-04, Saint Mary's has been one of the best at limiting opposing teams' 3-point attempts. This season, overall WCC foes are attempting 22.9 percent of their field goals from 3, one of lowest rates in the nation.