PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Omar Samhan had 29 points and 12 rebounds despite spending most of the game in foul trouble, and Saint Mary's pulled away from Richmond to win 80-71 on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament's South Regional.
It was the first NCAA win for Saint Mary's in six tries since 1959. The 10th-seeded Gaels (27-5) will play Saturday against Villanova, a No. 2 seed that escaped from the first round with a 73-70 overtime victory over Robert Morris.
Mickey McConnell, the West Coast Conference tournament MVP when the Gaels upset Gonzaga in the title game, went 5-for-9 from 3-point range and scored 23 points.
David Gonzalvez scored 18 and Kevin Anderson had 16 for Richmond (26-9). The Spiders have won NCAA tournament games as No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seeds but, playing as a favorite for the first time in school history, failed to make it out of the first round.