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The Saint Mary's Gaels fans celebrate in the second half against the Richmond Spiders during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament on March 18, 2010 at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, Rhode Island. St. Mary's defeated Richmond 80-71. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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.