MORAGA, Calif. -- In the first half, Loyola Marymount did not look like a team that had lost by 41 points two night ago. In fact they looked very much like the team that beat Saint Mary’s in Moraga last season.
But with the half coming to a close Saint Mary’s stole the momentum with a three that banked in from Jordan Giusti at the buzzer, giving the Gaels a halftime lead which propelled them into the second half.
Saint Mary’s did not trail the rest of the game and beat LMU  on Saturday afternoon to in its West Coast Conference opener.
The Gaels have won four straight games and will travel to Spokane to take on heated rival and No. 10-ranked Gonzaga on Thursday.
The Lions had only six players with significant minutes and that lack of depth showed as the game wore on.
Saint Mary’s (12-3, 1-0 WCC) came out in the second half and immediately hit two threes, one from Matthew Dellavedova and another from Beau Levesque, to give them a seven point lead.
Dellavedova finished with a game-high 17 points and eight assists.
LMU (7-8, 0-2) was able to cut into the Saint Mary’s lead and a three-point play from Ashley Hamilton cut the deficit to one at 42-41. Saint Mary’s rebounded themselves and went on a 10-2 run, capped off by a floater from Dellavedova, to give them a 52-43 lead.
Saint Mary’s was 3-for-12 from distance in the first half but came alive in the second, going  from three.
LMU, after only committing six first half fouls, committed 11 in the second putting their thin frontline in trouble. Hamilton fouled out with 15 points and six rebounds.
LMU will be without CJ Blackwell for remainder of the season after he has not recovered from a knee problem that kept him out of action for much of the preseason. Blackwell played in seven games, averaging 6.6 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Godwin Okonji has been coming off the bench and missed two games following emergency appendectomy on Dec. 12. This is his fourth game since returning and averaged 5.3 points in the first three.
Stephen Holt made his first start since returning from injury and finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @Zack_Farmer