MORAGA -- Brad Waldow scored six of St. Mary's final eight points, tying his career best of 28 as the Gaels defeated UC Irvine 72-69 Sunday night.
The thriller saw eight lead changes in the final 5:12 alone. It came down to a battle between the 6-foot-9 Waldow and Irvine's 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye, who scored seven of the Anteaters (2-2) final nine points before fouling out with 20 seconds left.
St. Mary's remains unbeaten at 4-0 after the evenly matched game - each team hit 24 field goals, had 12 assists, two blocks and 13 turnovers. There were 14 ties and 20 lead changes.
Ndiaye spun around Waldow to dunk for a 69-68 lead at 1:16, but Waldow snagged a clutch defensive rebound with 20 seconds left, getting fouled by Ndiaye and hitting both shots at the other end and the Gaels led 70-69.
Irvine had won five in a row at St. Mary's.