SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After an uncharacteristic sloppy first half, Saint Mary's returned to its efficient ways in the final 20 minutes to pull away from Santa Clara men's basketball to claim an 81-57 victory in Thursday's matchup of original West Coast Conference programs.
Jock Landale, the preseason conference player of the year, posted a game-high tying 19 points and 10 rebounds, Calvin Hermanson scored 14 and Emmett Naar directed the offense with 11 assists for the Gaels (16-2, 5-0) who won their 11th-straight game.
KJ Feagin also tallied 19 points and Henry Caruso added 11 for the Broncos (6-11, 3-2) who shot just 40 percent from the floor, including 5 of 19 from behind the 3-point line, and saw their two-game winning streak snapped.
The Gaels led by as many as 13 in the opening half, but the Broncos trimmed the lead to 43-33 three minutes into the second half, though it was all Saint Mary's the rest of the way.
The Gaels went on a 12-0 run with all the points coming in the paint. Evan Fitzner scored five and Landale had a pair of layups.
The Broncos were unable to get closer than 19 the rest of the game.
Saint Mary's had eight turnovers in the opening half, but just one in the second. The Gaels out-scored the Broncos 10-0 off turnovers in the final 20 minutes. Santa Clara's 13 turnovers led to 20 points.
Tanner Krebs had 11 points and six rebounds and Naar, who ranks second in the nation in assists, also had eight points and two steals.
Landale produced his 11th double-double of the season and the Gaels had 24 assists on 32 baskets.
Saint Mary's raced out to an early lead before the Broncos were able to settle down.
Hermanson connected on 3 of 5 from behind the 3-point line in the opening half, with his final one increasing the lead to 28-15.
But the Broncos hit 6 of 8 field goals over the next four minutes. Caruso scored five points and Emmanuel Ndumanya's inside basket chopped the lead to 30-24.
Naar responded with a layup and Jordan Ford, who had eight points, nailed a 3-pointer to push the Saint Mary's lead back into double digits.
Santa Clara was only able to convert Saint's Mary's eight first-half turnovers into six points. The Broncos, who also doesn't surrender the ball much, had seven first-half turnovers.
• Matt Hauser, KJ Feagin, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started for the 11th time this season, including fifth-straight contest.
• The teams played for the 223rd time tonight in a series between original members of the West Coast Conference that began in 1910. The Broncos lead the series 136-87. The Gaels have won seven of the last nine meetings, including the last five.
The Broncos close out a three-game homestand on Saturday against BYU. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
"I don't think we played particularly well. I really don't. And that's not to take anything away from St. Mary's, and that's not to imply that we didn't do some things very well. But to answer that question in a short sound bite, I think we could have played better than we did. But you would quickly have to add St. Mary's makes it difficult for you to play your best; they're awfully good."
Head coach Herb Sendek