MORAGA -- Beau Levesque just couldn't miss Saturday.

From 3-pointers to layups, the junior forward connected on just about every shot he put up to help the Saint Mary's College men's basketball team beat Pepperdine 84-72 at McKeon Pavilion.

On a day the Gaels weren't at their best defensively, Levesque finished with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting in front of a crowd of 3,500. The effort, which also included five rebounds and two steals, came two days after he poured in a career-high 20 points in another efficient shooting performance.

Stephen Holt added 17 points, while Matthew Dellavedova had 10 points and 10 assists, as the Gaels (17-4, 6-1) won their fifth straight West Coast Conference game.

Levesque, a reserve junior forward from De La Salle High, gave much of the credit for his big week to Dellavedova, the Gaels' Aussie point guard.

"(Teams) just keep doubling Delly and leaving me open," Levesque said. "It's all because of No. 4 creating plays. It starts with him and I just try to help him out."

Levesque was 7 of 7 from the floor for 15 points in the first half, scoring the Gaels' final seven points of the period for a 49-40 lead. He scored four points as part of an 8-0 run midway through the second half that pushed the Gaels' lead to 19.

"He did a good job of taking what the defense gave him," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said of Levesque. "That's where I think he's really improved. He lets the game come to him. I think all his decisions offensively are good ones ... He makes us tough to defend."


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Levesque wasn't the only one making shots.

Holt connected on three of his first four 3-point attempts and had 12 points at the half. Brad Waldow worked inside for eight early points as the Gaels finished the first half shooting 65 percent against a Waves squad that ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage defense.

Dellavedova, who averages 16.6 points, scored just 19 total in two games this week. But he reached double-digit assists for the second straight game and third time this season. He said he's not bothered by his recent scoring production. "As long as we're winning," he said. "I just need to do whatever it takes to win."

Saint Mary's needed all the offense it got because the improved defense that the Gaels showed off in blowout wins over Portland and San Diego recently didn't show up.

Guards Jordan Baker and Lorne Jackson combined for 36 points to lead Pepperdine (10-10, 2-5 WCC).

"We struggled guarding them," Bennett said. "I thought we were making progress (defensively) and then we took a step backward tonight. Sometimes it's just the other team plays well, and I thought their guards really played well."

wednesday's game
Saint Mary's (17-4, 6-1 WCC) at USF (9-12, 2-6), 7 p.m. CSNCA