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Beau Levesque, right, and the Gaels cruised to a win Tuesday against Jackson State.
Beau Levesque, right, and the Gaels cruised to a win Tuesday against Jackson State.
MBK | First Half Flurry Gives SMC Win Over Jackson State
Release: Thursday 12/11/2012 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- With final exams on the minds of nearly everyone on at Saint Mary's this week, the Gaels men's basketball team taught a lesson of its own against visiting Jackson State, building a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 120-67 rout on Tuesday.

The 120-point outburst tied for second in the Gaels' all-time single-game scoring list. The record is 121, which came in a 121-52 win over Chicago State on Nov. 23, 2010.

Matthew Dellavedova was, as usual, the ringleader for Saint Mary's as the senior from Australia scored 31 points (one off his career high), dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead the way. Dellavedova has scored a combined 62 points in his last two games.

He wasn't the only Gael to fill the stat sheet. Brad Waldow set a career high with 21 points, his third straight game in double figures scoring. James Walker III added 14 points, matching his career high.

Beau Levesque notched his first double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go with 10 rebounds. Jorden Page added 13 points, and Eividas Petrulis had his finest game as a Gael, scoring a career-high nine.

"I thought we did a good job of concentrating and playing right, all the way through, down to the last possession," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "We played really efficient offensively. I don't even know what the stats say, but I just know we played right offensively."

There was no waiting around for Saint Mary's (7-2), as the Gaels opened the game on a 20-4 run.

The lead eventually ballooned to 18, as a dunk by Beau Levesque made the score 24-6 with just under 13 minutes left in the first half.

That was just the beginning of the high flying for the Gaels. Dellavedova found several willing participants on the other end of alley-oop dunks, and Saint Mary's did whatever it wanted on offense for most of the contest.

Jackson State (0-6) did its best to stick with Saint Mary's, launching a 13-0 run to close the gap midway through the first half. A layup by Kelsey Howard made it a six-point game, leaving the Tigers down 25-19 with 9:57 left in the first half.

The Gaels had a response ready, going on a 17-3 run of their own and making it 42-22 when a Dellavedova 3-pointer found the bottom of the net.

Saint Mary's led 52-32 at the half, and only expanded the lead in the second half. Dellavedova's point total continued to grow, and the Gaels kept building on their lead.

"You just don't see that very often where you feel like, shoot, nine or 10 guys played well," Bennett said. "It was a bad night for Jackson State to get us, because we were rolling."

The lopsided score gave Bennett a chance to give some playing time to everyone, and that resulted in good performances by nearly every Gael that played.

"I thought James Walker played really well, Waldow played really well. I thought Eividias, when he played at the end, played really well," Bennett said. "We got good minutes from our bigs. I thought Beau and Mitch (Young) played hard and did good work on the boards."

Jordan Giusti was another player who took advantage of the extra court time, dishing out a career-high seven assists.

Dundrecous Nelson led Jackson State with 27 points.

Saint Mary's now takes a break from game action, and will return to McKeon Pavilion on Dec. 19 against Pacific at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting the tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx (4689).