MORAGA, Calif. - Saint Mary's continued to show its efficient playing style in its final home game of the season
Jock Landale, the likely West Coast Conference Player of the Year, posted 19 points and eight rebounds, and Emmett Naar, directing the offense, scored 12 for the No. 22/20 Gaels who cruised past Santa Clara men's basketball 67-40 on Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Jordan Ford scored 13, mostly on drives to the basket, and Calvin Hermanson tallied all 10 of his points in the opening 8 minutes of the game to set the tone for the Gaels (27-4, 16-2) who closed the season with three straight wins after an uncharacteristic two-game skid.
Landale, Naar and Hermanson were among four seniors who played their final game at McKeon Pavilion.
Henry Caruso (14) was the only player in double figures for the Broncos (11-19, 8-10) who shot a season-low 24 percent from the floor in the game and played the final 30 minutes without leading scorer KJ Feagin who sprained his left ankle in the first half and did not return.
Saint Mary's did most of its damage inside, scoring 24 of its 36 points after halftime in the paint.
Landale was 7-for-12 from the floor in the game, including 4 of 4 in the second half when he had 10 points.
Santa Clara made only two of its last 13 attempts from the field in the opening half and that trend continued the remainder of the game.
A layup from Ford increased a 12-point halftime lead to 45-27 with 12 minutes left.
Matt Turner's 3-pointer 2 minutes later cut the Santa Clara deficit to 15, but Landale had a 3-point play and Ford another layup and the Gaels led by more than 20 for the final 5 minutes of the contest.
The Broncos, who were 3-for-17 from behind the 3-point line, will be the No. 7 seed in next week's WCC Tournament in Las Vegas and play on Friday.
The Gaels will be seeded second and earn a bye into Saturday's quarterfinals.
Santa Clara would face Saint Mary's should it get past the Waves.
The Broncos had another injury scare in the final few minutes of the game as Emmanuel Nduamanya feel awkwardly on his back. The senior center did not return though neither his injury nor Feagin's appear to be serious.
HIGHLIGHT | Matt Hauser got back to action Saturday in a @WCCSports road battle at Saint Mary's! FULL HIGHLIGHTS ▶️ https://t.co/vBv6ZfeTpN #StampedeAhead #SCUBroncos #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/ywsKrqTmW5— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) February 27, 2018
• KJ Feagin, Kai Healy, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started as a group for the eighth time this season. Pugh, a senior, was inserted for Vrankic in Thursday's game against LMU, the final one at home. Healy made his 10th-straight start. Matt Hauser, who missed the last eight games with a foot injury, played for the first time since Jan. 25.
• Santa Clara and Saint Mary's are longtime rivals and original West Coast Conference members. The series began in 1910 and the teams played for the 225th time, the most common opponent in Santa Clara history. The Broncos lead the series 135-89 though the Gaels have won eight of the last 10 meetings, including the most recent six.
• Caruso was subbed out for the first time in the last five games. He played xx minutes in the game. The senior was off the floor for only 13 minutes in the previous 11 contests.
The Broncos, the seventh seed, will face 10th-seeded Pepperdine on Friday in the opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.