The Saint Mary's Gaels continued their strong start to West Coast Conference play as they hammered the Pepperdine Waves 74-45. The victory was a strong follow-up to their WCC-opener in which they dispatched BYU with a dominant second half. Saint Mary's improves to 2-0 in conference play and 14-2 overall. Pepperdine drops to 1-1 in conference play and 7-6 overall.
The Gael jumped out to a quick 5-0 and built on it from there, taking a 17 point lead into the half. Rather than ease up coming out for the second half, SMC kept the pedal to the metal as they pushed the lead to as much as 30 points. Considering Pepperdine was coming off a home upset over the San Francisco Dons, this blowout was somewhat surprising. However, SMC is obviously a legit threat once again.
The Gaels put together a solid team effort led by Matthew Dellavedova's 16 point effort. Stephen Holt and Jorden Page each added 14 points to the cause. SMC dominated on the boards 37-22 and did a good job protecting the basketball, as they committed only seven turnovers.
Saint Mary's gets to enjoy the New Year in Southern California before moving on to San Diego for their third conference game. USD and Portland are likely to be at the bottom of the standings most of the season, so this is a must-win road game for Saint Mary's.