SANTA CLARA -- Stephen Holt made sure that Santa Clara would not sweep its season series with Saint Mary's for the first time in seven years.
The senior guard scored a career-best 35 points, including 21 in the first half, in the Gaels' 76-54 rout of the Broncos on Saturday at the Leavey Center.
Holt missed just three shots all game and led a first-half surge in which the Gaels went on a 24-0 run against their rivals to take command early.
The only shot that Holt missed in the opening period was a 3-pointer that rimmed out.
"Once I was on that roll, my teammates understood that," Holt said. "They wanted to get me the ball in places I could score. Tonight was my night to carry the load offensively, but it started defensively."
Santa Clara (12-17, 5-11 West Coast Conference) missed 10 consecutive shots and went scoreless for nearly 10 minutes in the first half while Saint Mary's (20-9, 10-6) was building its big lead.
Brandon Clark's basket with 6:10 left in the half finally broke the Broncos' scoring drought, but by then, they trailed 33-12.
"We let our inability to play a little bit harder on offense carry over into our defensive effort," Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating said. "It kind of snowballed from there."
Clark finished with 16 points and five assists, and Evan Roquemore added 13 points for Santa Clara.
But Jared Brownridge was never able to get going. The freshman standout, who beat Saint Mary's with a last second 3-pointer earlier this season, was held to five points on 2-of-7 shooting with James Walker III doing much of the defensive work.
Santa Clara shot 40 percent -- including 21 percent from 3-point range -- and trailed by as many as 29 in the second half.
Saint Mary's also dominated the boards 36-18 and made 9 of 14 attempts from beyond the arc, helping avenge a 57-55 home loss to the Broncos on Jan. 9. Since that game, Santa Clara, which was looking for its first regular-season sweep of Saint Mary's since 2007, has won just two of 11.
"(Our players) respected them, and I think that was key," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "They came in here with the right mindset that it would be a tough game. We were really ready to play."
Clark didn't start for Santa Clara for the first time this season as Keating shuffled his lineup to give starts to his four seniors in the Broncos' final home game of the season.
Follow Stephanie Hammon on Twitter at twitter.com/stephhammon.
Portland (15-13, 7-9 WCC) at Saint Mary's (20-9, 10-6), 6 p.m. CSNCA
Santa Clara (12-17, 5-11 WCC) at Loyola Marymount (11-17, 3-13), 8 p.m. CSNBA