SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Beau Levesque has impacted games in a variety of ways this season for the Saint Mary's men's basketball team.
On Thursday at Santa Clara, Levesque took his already-impressive repertoire downtown.
The junior from Lafayette set a career high with 24 points, bombing away with a career-best six 3-pointers to lead Saint Mary's (20-4, 9-1 West Coast Conference) to a 84-63 win over the Broncos.
Brad Waldow chipped in with 14 points and a career-high tying three blocks for the Gaels. Mitchell Young added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Matthew Dellavedova had nine assists in Saint Mary's eighth win in a row.
Evan Roquemore led Santa Clara (17-8, 5-5) with 18 points.
The Gaels led the entire way, but Santa Clara kept things within reach long into the second half.
But, for every bucket Saint Mary's managed to find, the Gaels backed it up with the appropriate response -- good defense.
That translated to some striking numbers in areas that really counted. Santa Clara's big three of Roquemore, Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini combined to shoot 13 for 32. The Broncos shot 40.8 percent as a team.
"We had a couple guys that didn't play great offensively, but they were there for us defensively," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "Our numbers defensively were good."
The Gaels continued to dictate the pace on offense, getting into sets and finding open shooters.
That was often Levesque, who was open all night on the perimeter. Never shooting under duress, the De La Salle graduate turned Thursday's game into a bit of shooting practice.
"A lot of defenses are going to focus a lot of their attention on Delly," Levesque said. "Luckily, they kept leaving me open and I was able to hit shots tonight."
He also took it inside, at one point driving on his old De La Salle teammate John McArthur to score the hoop and draw a foul. He converted the 3-point play from the line, putting Saint Mary's up 60-43 with 12:11 left.
Such a convincing win was made even more impressive when considering that Dellavedova had just four points. His assist total showed the usual though -- that the Australian star can impact a game even without scoring.
Saint Mary's took a 41-34 lead to halftime, thanks in large part to Levesque's laser-lock from 3-point distance.
Coming off the bench, Levesque took just eight minutes of game action to tie his career high in 3-pointers with four. He hit all four he attempted, and went 3 for 4 from the line to help the Gaels take the lead.
While Levesque was operating outside, Waldow was working down low. He tied his own career high with three blocks before the half, and added 10 points and seven rebounds before the break.
"Beau was really good offensively. Brad was good too," Bennett said. "I thought all our guys were good defensively, and then we had enough guys step up offensively that made us pretty good at both ends. Overall, one of our best games of the year."
Santa Clara trailed the entire half, but managed to narrow the gap a bit near the end of the half. A 3-pointer by Raymond Cowels III with 34 seconds left proved the final field goal in the half, sending the Broncos to the locker room with a bit of momentum.
Saint Mary's returns to the court Saturday at 8 p.m. when they invade Jenny Craig Pavilion to take on host San Diego. The game will be televised live on ESPNU, and live audio and statistics will be available on SMCGaels.com.
After returning from San Diego, the Gaels will have a few days to prepare for a Valentine's Day showdown with Gonzaga. That game is set for Thursday at 8 p.m. and is sold out. It will be televised on ESPN2.