MORAGA, Calif. -- A 20-point halftime lead provided the foundation and the Saint Mary's men's basketball team just kept going from there Saturday as the Gaels picked up their seventh win in a row with a 77-42 victory over visiting Portland.
Matthew Dellavedova scored 23 points to lead Saint Mary's (19-4, 8-1 West Coast Conference). Jorden Page added 11, and Mitchell Young chipped in with 10 for the Gaels. Redshirt freshman Jordan Giusti matched his career high, scoring eight points for the third time this season.
Thomas van der Mars led Portland (8-16, 1-8) with 13 points.
It became obvious early on that the Gaels might be sitting on a good effort.
That started with Dellavedova, who made three of his first four shots to help stake Sain Mary's to a lead. Two of those came from long distance, and the senior from Maryborough, Victoria, Australia ended up with eight points in a 15-5 Saint Mary's run to open the game.
He wasn't alone in the early offensive barrage, but Dellavedova was certainly the ringleader. He scored 14 points in the first half, going 4 for 6 from beyond the arc in that half alone.
Page was just as impressive when he had the ball. Whether it was a crossover dribble to get to the basket or a step-back 3-pointer, the native of Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia had all his weapons working en route to 11 first-half points.
Defensively, Saint Mary's looked almost as good as it did in a win at Portland just a few weeks ago. The Gaels forced 20 turnovers, and limited the Pilots to just 31 percent from the field.
"Most importantly, I thought we took another step in the right direction defensively and rebounding," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "We've been pretty good rebounding, very consistent, on the year rebounding but the last time we played Portland it was close on the boards. That's something we take pride in every night, trying to be good on the boards. We did a good job on it."
If Portland had any thoughts of coming back in the second half, Saint Mary's ended those quickly.
It took the Pilots eight minutes, 19 seconds to score their first basket after halftime, and by the time that hoop went down, Saint Mary's had pushed the lead over 30.
"We're getting better," Bennett said. "Our depth is getting better, and I think we're starting become a little more consistent defensively."
Saint Mary's now hits the road for a pair of games, starting with Thursday's trip to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos. That game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip.
The Gaels go from there to San Diego, with an 8 p.m. game scheduled for Saturday against the Toreros.
SMC returns to McKeon Pavilion on Feb. 14 for a Valentine's Day showdown with Gonzaga. That game is set for an 8 p.m. tip as well. Live audio of all three games will be available on SMCGaels.com.