MORAGA, Calif. -- Having already played half of its West Coast Conference schedule, the Saint Mary's men's basketball team has yet to play one foe it knows extremely well.
That changes Thursday when the Gaels head to Silicon Valley to square off with rival Santa Clara at 8 p.m.
The game will be televised on ESPN2, with Dave Flemming and Corey Williams on the call. Live audio will be available on SMCGaels.com, and Alex Jensen will describe the action. Live stats will also be available on the school website.
Saint Mary's (19-4, 8-1 WCC) enters the week on a seven-game win streak. Last week, the Gaels pulled out a tense 67-63 win at Santa Clara, then cruised to a 77-42 win over visiting Portland.
Playing a central role in both victories was junior guard Jorden Page. In the win over San Francisco, Page led the Gaels with 19 points, and his two free throws with four seconds remaining helped seal the victory.
He followed that performance with 11 more points in the win over Portland, good for second on the team.
Guard Matthew Dellavedova also played a major role throughout the week, but statistically it was his game against Portland that stood out the most. The senior from Australia made his first four 3-point attempts, ultimately finishing with 23 points to lead all scorers.
Also playing well of late has been forward Mitchell Young. The picture of consistency all season, Young has scored in double figures in six of his last eight games. Against San Francisco, he pulled down nine rebounds to go with nine points.
Santa Clara (17-7, 5-4) enters the game fresh off a 96-79 loss at BYU, but prior to that game, the Broncos had won their last five games.
Leading the way this season has been Santa Clara's big three of Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini and Evan Roquemore. Foster is the team's leading scorer at 19 points per game, but Trasolini (15.8) and Roquemore (12.7) aren't far behind. Trasolini also averages 8.7 rebounds per game.
Thursday's game will pair two of the WCC's best scoring teams. Saint Mary's ranks third in the conference at 77.7 points per game, and Santa Clara comes in fourth at 76.7. The Gaels and Broncos also rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in free throw percentage.
The stats also indicate that something will have to give in the low post. Saint Mary's leads the WCC in rebounding margin, but Santa Clara leads the conference in blocked shots.
Saint Mary's and Santa Clara last met on Feb. 11, 2012, with the host Gaels winning 82-67. Rob Jones led SMC with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Dellavedova added 16 points and 10 assists.