MORAGA, Calif. - Senior forward Rob Jones and junior guard Matthew Dellavedova each recorded double-doubles to spark No. 13 Saint Mary's to an 82-67 victory over rival Santa Clara in a West Coast Conference (WCC) game before a sold out crowd at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga on Saturday night.
After having his streak of six straight double-figure scoring games snapped at Gonzaga on Thursday, Jones bounced back in a big way against Santa Clara (8-17, 0-12), scoring a game-high 25 points and collecting 12 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season.
Dellavedova added 16 points and 10 assists, while sophomore guard Stephen Holt contributed 11 points and four rebounds for the Gaels (23-3, 12-1), who improved to 16-0 at home this season.
Freshman guard Denzel Johnson scored 17 points to lead a trio of Broncos in double figures. Junior forward Niyi Harrison added 12 points and a team-high six rebounds, while freshman guard Brandon Clark finished with 10 points.
After leading 40-35 at halftime, Saint Mary's opened the first half with a 14-5 run to build a 14-point lead at 54-40 with 15:48 remaining. However, Santa Clara answered with a 12-3 run of its own over a five-minute period to slice the Gaels' lead to 57-52 following a basket by Clark with 10:21 to play.
The Broncos would eventually cut the deficit to three points on two occasions, the last coming on a jumper by Harrison that trimmed the Gaels' lead to 64-61 with 7:59 remaining.
However, that would be the closest Santa Clara would get as Saint Mary's outscored the Broncos 18-6 the rest of the way to secure the win and maintain its two-game lead over second-place Gonzaga with three WCC games remaining.
After shooting just 47.1 percent (16-for-34) from the field in the first half, the Gaels found their stroke in the second half, converting on 14-of-23 (60.9) field goal attempts. Saint Mary's finished the game shooting 52.6 percent (30-for-57), while Santa Clara shot 47.4 percent (27-for-57).
Saint Mary's will attempt to complete its second undefeated home season in school history when it hosts Loyola Marymount in its regular-season home finale Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Gaels' only other perfect home slate came during the 1958-59 when they went 7-0 en route to a 19-6 overall record.