MORAGA, Calif. — Rob Jones had 24 points and 15 rebounds, Matthew Dellavedova added 18 points and a career-high 12 assists and Saint Mary's used a big run coming out of halftime to beat BYU 98-82 on Thursday in the West Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Stephen Holt scored a career-high 21 points and Jorden Page had 13 for the Gaels (12-2), who made 12 3-pointers and led by 22 before BYU made a brief run late.
Jones was only 6 of 14 from the floor but made up for it by going 10 for 10 on free throws for his ninth double-double this season.
Brandon Davies had a career-high 28 points for BYU, but the Cougars (11-4) committed 15 turnovers and couldn't keep up with the quicker, more aggressive Gaels. Noah Hartsock and Matt Carlino added 13 points each.
A large, loud contingent of BYU fans made the trek from Provo, Utah for the game — the Cougars' first in the WCC after 13 years in the Mountain West Conference.
The blue and grey-clad fans were mostly silent in the second half when BYU fell behind 73-51 after Jones made a pair of 3-pointers then later scored on back-to-back trips down the floor.
The Cougars, who had won three straight since an 86-83 loss to No. 6 Baylor on Dec. 17, managed to cut the lead to 10 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining when Davies scored on a three-point play and Brock Zylstra added a layup to cap a 14-4 run. BYU later had a chance to pull within single digits but Davies was whistled for charging and Dellavedova made a 3-pointer on the Gaels' subsequent possession.
It was only Saint Mary's third win in 11 games against BYU but the Gaels' second straight overall in the series.
Holt went into the game averaging 8.3 points but nearly doubled that before halftime when he matched his previous career high of 16 to help the Gaels take a 53-43 lead.
Both teams shot over 54 percent in the first half but Saint Mary's went 14 of 16 from the free-throw line while BYU was just 2 of 3.
Jones, whose scoring dipped slightly over the past two weeks, struggled with his shot early while being defended by Hartsock. He got going after the break, making back-to-back 3-pointers as part of a 13-0 Gaels run.