MORAGA, Calif. -- Without a doubt, the Saint Mary's men's basketball team enjoyed one of its finest stretches of the season last week with wins over BYU and Creighton.
Now, the No. 23-ranked Gaels will have to put that success behind them, with an always-challenging trip to Pepperdine looming this Wednesday. Game time is set for 8 p.m. from Firestone Fieldhouse, and the contest will be televised by ESPNU. Live audio and statistics will be available on SMCGaels.com.
Saint Mary's heads to Malibu with an overall record of 24-5 and a West Coast Conference mark of 12-2. The Gaels have secured the No. 2 seed in the WCC Tournament, and will play in a semifinal on March 9 at 8:30 p.m.
In wins over the Cougars and Bluejays, senior guard Matthew Dellavedova was again the leader both on the stat sheet and in the huddle. He scored 20 points against BYU, 19 against Creighton and for his efforts was named the WCC Player of the Week.
In the win over BYU, Beau Levesque helped light up the scoreboard, scoring 17 points to go with eight rebounds. He went a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line.
The Gaels had four players in double digits against Creighton, with Stephen Holt (13 points), Brad Waldow (12) and Mitchell Young (11) joining Dellavedova. Waldow also grabbed 12 rebounds to get his first double-double of the season.
As it has all year, Saint Mary's turned rebounding into a main strength in both games. The Gaels outrebounded BYU 33-26, then outrebounded Creighton 39-27. At 8.5 rebounds per game, Saint Mary's continues to lead the WCC in rebounding margin.
Pepperdine (12-15, 4-10) enters on a two-game losing streak after dropping a 64-58 decision at San Francisco on Saturday.
In the loss to the Dons, Nikolas Skouen scored a career-high 19 points and Stacy Davis added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Waves.
Senior guard Lorne Jackson continues to lead Pepperdine in scoring, entering Wednesday's contest with an average of 13.7 points per game. Jordan Baker is next at 11.6 and Davis averages 10.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Pepperdine has been stronger at home this season than on the road, going .500 in Malibu with a 6-6 mark. The Waves are 2-5 at home in conference play.
After the trip to Southern California, Saint Mary's returns home to McKeon Pavilion to close out the regular season on Saturday against rival Santa Clara. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip, and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet California. As always, live audio and statistics will be available on SMCGaels.com.
Saturday's game is Senior Night, as Matthew Dellavedova, Kyle Rowley, Paul McCoy, Mitchell Young and Tim Williams spend their final game in McKeon Pavilion. A limited number of tickets are still available, and can be purchased by clicking the Tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.