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Memphis up next for travel-tested Saint Mary's

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm •  Published: March 20, 2013

Memphis and Gonzaga are the only teams this season that went undefeated in conference play both in the regular season and the league tournament. Gonzaga beat Saint Mary's three times while sweeping through the West Coast Conference, but the Gaels have built an impressive program of their own, reaching the NCAA round of 16 in 2010.

Matthew Dellavedova emerged from a shooting slump to score 22 points in the First Four game against Middle Tennessee.

"He's a very smart guard. It seems like he's been playing the game for a while," Memphis guard Joe Jackson said. "He's not the fastest guy, but he's one of the smarter guys in the country."

Jackson is Memphis' leading scorer at 13.6 points per game.

Saint Mary's has already spent plenty of time traveling. The California school opened the tournament in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday, then made a quick trip north to Auburn Hills. The Gaels could be fatigued after already playing a game in this tournament — or they could be less rusty than Memphis.

"It's whatever you make it. We're going to try and make it an advantage," Bennett said. "I do like this about it: We hadn't played in a week, and it would have been 10 days since we played in our conference tournament. ... Playing Tuesday shortened that up a little bit."

Dellavedova averages 16 points per game, one of four Saint Mary's players in double figures. Guard Jorden Page didn't play against Middle Tennessee because of a right knee injury, and he isn't expected back for the game against Memphis.

Guard Jordan Giusti, a redshirt freshman, made his first start Tuesday.

"It's new, but it wasn't really that big of a change because I've started second halves," Giusti said. "I'm used to playing. As far as the tournament goes, it's just another game really for me. I'm not really used to the whole tournament thing, but right now it's just another game."