MORAGA -- Paul Marigney's nickname from his days at Saint Mary's College is P-40. He lived up to the billing Sunday night.

Marigney, who played for the Gaels from 2000-05, scored 42 points and led the veteran White Team past the younger Blue Team 115-111 in Saint Mary's first All-Star Classic alumni basketball game.

"The name still remains, nine years later," said Marigney, who was named the game's MVP.

Marigney, whose nickname came from a memorable 40-point performance he delivered against Pepperdine his senior year, had eight 3-pointers and helped hold off a late charge by the Blue Team.

Mickey McConnell had 35 points to lead the Blue Team, which was coached by Matthew Dellavedova, fresh from his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Omar Samhan had 23 points and Stephen Holt added 22 in defeat.

The White Team, consisting mostly of players from the mid-2000s, built several double-digit leads despite not having Patty Mills. The recently crowned NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs was supposed to coach the team but didn't show up for unknown reasons.

In addition to Marigney's heroics, Daniel Kickert made six 3-pointers and had 26 points. He also won the halftime 3-point shooting contest. Diamon Simpson had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

For Marigney, this game represented a celebration of the success Saint Mary's has enjoyed since coach Randy Bennett took over beginning with the 2001-02 season.

The Gaels went 2-27 Marigney's freshman year, the program's fourth straight losing season under Dave Bollwinkel, who took over when Ernie Kent left for Oregon immediately in the aftermath of the Gaels' 1997 NCAA tournament appearance.


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Bennett came in a year later, and his only losing season was his first one. By Marigney's senior year in 2004-05, the Gaels were back in the NCAA tournament and have made four more trips since.

"We were the cornerstone of switching this program around after the terrible team we had with Bollwinkel," Marigney said. "We came back and we kept the foundation, and we did everything we could to turn this program around for Patty, for Matthew, for Mickey, Diamon, Omar, all those guys."

In defeat, Samhan acknowledged some disappointment.

"Oh, I'm crushed," he said jokingly. "At the end, we were playing to win and Delly was coaching, so it was fun. You always want to win in those things."

He agreed that the event served as a great reminder of the success of Saint Mary's, which has been the winningest NCAA Division I program in California over the past decade.

"It's just a tribute to Bennett for how much he's been able to do, how he's kept us all in and still keeps in contact with everybody," Samhan said. "It's a great experience."

Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.