Gaels Cruise to Victory in Santa Clara, Take Early Possession of First Place in the West Coast Conference

On the Broncos’ home court, the Gaels opened up with as close to a perfect half of basketball that you’ll see in a WCC contest. It caps a week with a pair of blowout victories for Saint Mary’s.

by Ryan Barnett, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications | January 13, 2024

Everything came up Gaels in Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon, as Saint Mary's downed the Santa Clara Broncos 73–49. The Gaels grabbed momentum from the opening tip and led wire to wire, as the Broncos could not handle the onslaught on both ends of the floor. The 24 point margin of victory was Saint Mary's largest against the Broncos since 2018, when they defeated their WCC rival to the south 67–40.

The Gaels played as close to a perfect half of basketball that you'll see in a WCC contest. Joshua Jefferson and Mitchell Saxen sparked an early 9–0 run, and while the Broncos responded with a pair of triples to cut the deficit to three, that only seemed to fuel the Gaels fire, who scored the next 21 unanswered. 

When the first half horn sounded, the Gaels had a commanding 47–18 lead. Aidan Mahaney led all scorers with 13 points in the half, knocking down three three pointers, while Luke Barrett dropped 12 on 5–6 shooting. Most impressively, the Gaels had no turnovers and 12 assists in the first half, led by Augustas Marciulionis, with six dimes. 

Santa Clara was able to find their footing a bit in the second half, but were unable to mount any sort of comeback. Harry Wessels put together a strong second half with six points and five boards.

Aidan Mahaney led all scorers with 18 points on 7–14 shooting and 4–6 shooting from beyond the arc. Luke Barrett added 17 points off the bench, shooting 7–9 from the field and pulling down six rebounds. Mitchell Saxen chipped in 10 points, playing through foul trouble, while Augustas Marciulionis tied a career-high with 10 assists.  

What a week, Aidan Mahaney!

Aidan Mahaney led the Gaels to a pair of blowout victories this week in what was the best two-game shooting stretch of his young career. The sophomore out of Lafayette buried 11 threes on 17 tries (65%), besting his previous two game total high of seven made threes. In total, Mahaney shot 15–27 (56%) from the field, averaging 21.5 points per contest on the weekend. 

The Gaels also racked up seven blocks, tying a season best against Division I opponents. Mitchell Saxen accounted for four of the Gaels seven rejections, tying a career-high. Saxen now has 98 blocks in his Gaels career, surpassing Jock Landale for sole possession of sixth most in program history. 

Luke Barrett put together another double-digit scoring performance, his third over the last five contests. Barrett was also ultra efficient, scoring 17 points on 7–9 shooting (2-3 from three) in just 22 minutes of play. Having Barrett as a solid scoring option off the bench has made the Gaels all the more dangerous as they continue to meander through their WCC slate. 


UP NEXT: The Gaels have a week off to prepare for another marquee matchup, this time with University of San Francisco on the road. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 20.


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