PORTLAND, Ore. -- Stephen Holt scored 13 points, Brad Waldow added 12 and the Saint Mary's men's basketball team finished a tremendously successful week of West Coast Conference play with a 60-38 win at Portland on Saturday.
Saint Mary's (15-4, 4-1 WCC) followed a thrilling win at BYU on Wednesday with a tremendous defensive effort against the Pilots.
The numbers bore that fact out. Portland (8-12, 1-4) shot just 23.3 percent from the floor, scoring most of its points from the foul line in the second half.
38 points scored by Portland were the fewest by a Gaels opponent since Sacramento State scored 38 on Dec. 17, 2004. It was also the fewest points scored by the Pilots in the series between the two teams.
The Gaels forced 18 turnovers, snagging 11 steals in the process. Beau Levesque was a thief in the night, with four takeaways to his name.
"They've always given us problems here," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "Obviously, they didn't have one of their better nights shooting the ball. I'd like to think we had something to do with it defensively."
At the other end, it was another balanced effort by the Gaels. Holt led in scoring and also pulled down six rebounds. Waldow added 11 rebounds, and Matthew Dellavedova chipped in with 11 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Defense was the name of the game for Saint Mary's in the first half. The Gaels forced 12 turnovers, and every time down the court, it seemed a player was on the floor diving for a loose ball.
Offensively, Saint Mary's got contributions from several players. Holt led the way with seven, but four different Gaels had five points or more.
And, it seemed that the Gaels had no problems with the slow start that was an issue at BYU on Wednesday. A 7-2 run to start the game gave them the early lead, which they eventually extended to 14-4. The advantage would grow as large as 14 at one point, giving Saint Mary's a bit of cushion as the first half went on.
Saint Mary's returns to action on Thursday in Moraga as it hosts San Diego at 8 p.m. in a game televised by Comcast SportsNet California. The two-game homestand concludes Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee against Pepperdine. Tickets for both games are available by clicking the Tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling (925) 631-GoTx.