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Saint Mary's holds off Portland for 77-72 victory

Jan 17, 2010 - 5:21 AM MORAGA, Calif.(AP) -- Omar Samhan overcame a sluggish start and scored 24 of his 28 points in the second half, Mickey McConnell made four free throws in the final 13 seconds and Saint Mary's held off a late Portland charge to beat the Pilots 77-72 on Saturday night.

McConnell finished with 17 points while Ben Allen added 16 for the Gaels (16-3, 3-1 West Coast Conference), who rebounded after falling to No. 17 Gonzaga 89-82 on Thursday.

Robin Smeulders had a career-high 29 points with eight rebounds and Nik Raivio added 14 points for Portland (10-7, 1-2), which lost for the second time in three games to fall two games behind Gonzaga in the conference.