MORAGA -- Saint Mary's College celebrated Pacific coach Bob Thomason's approaching retirement Wednesday night by presenting him a free round of golf at a local country club.
Thomason, completing his 25th season at the Stockton school, probably felt like breaking out his clubs by halftime of the Gaels' 74-46 victory at McKeon Pavilion.
The Gaels (8-2), who lost to the Tigers (5-6) in Anaheim last month, left no doubt in the rematch, storming to a 36-17 halftime lead and never letting the visitors get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
"Our best effort defensively of the year," coach Randy Bennett said after his Gaels limited Pacific to 32.6 percent. A month ago, the Tigers scorched Saint Mary's for 53.1 percent.
The Gaels outscored the Tigers 30-3 from the 3-point line and out-rebounded them 44-24.
They have won four in a row without injured junior Stephen Holt, their No. 3 scorer, who is close to being ready to play after suffering a bruised knee.
Pacific will join the Gaels in the West Coast Conference next season, and forward Mitchell Young said it was important to square things with after the first meeting.
"Everyone knows their roles now," Young said. "We were unselfish moving the ball, crashing the boards, playing really good defense."
Gaels star and Australian Olympian Matthew Dellavedova had a tough night shooting the ball in front of his parents, Mark and Leanne, who made the trip from Down
On the heels of back-to-back 31-point games, Dellavedova made just two of his first 12 shots.
But his passing triggered a surge late in the first half that provided separation, and he hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half to cap a 10-0 run that answered a comeback try by the Tigers.
UOP had scored seven straight to slice a 46-25 deficit to 14 points, but Dellavedova's second 3-pointer extended the lead to 56-32 with 10:17 left.
Dellavedova finished with 17 points and eight assists, but his six first-half assists helped changed the game, leading directly to 16 points. He had a hand in 24 of the Gaels' 36 first-half points, including the final 17 as Saint Mary's forged its 19-point lead.
"He can sniff those out," Bennett said of Dellavedova's sense of when to involve his teammates. "Early on they were really dialed in to guarding him and being physical. He's got a great feel for when the play is to move the ball."
Junior Beau Levesque led the Gaels with 18 points, equaling the career high he set in the first game against Pacific this season. He was the beneficiary of three of Dellavedova's first-half assists, draining all three of his 3-point tries.
The Tigers made their first two shots of the game for a 4-0 lead, then made just one more field goal over the next 13-plus minutes, allowing the Gaels to fight through their own shooting woes and take control.
During one 101/2-minute stretch, UOP went 16 possessions without a field goal, missing 11 straight shots and turning the ball over four times.
Saint Mary's (8-2) at Northern Iowa (6-5), noon