Augustas Marciulionis, No. 18 Saint Mary’s pound Pepperdine


Augustas Marciulionis scored a career-high 28 points and No. 18 Saint Mary’s won its 13th straight game, defeating Pepperdine 103-59 on Thursday night in Moraga, Calif.

The Gaels are tied with No. 1 UConn for the longest active winning streak in Division I men’s basketball.

Alex Ducas contributed 18 points and Aidan Mahaney finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Gaels (21-6, 12-0 West Coast Conference), who returned to the AP Top 25 this week after falling out in the second week of the season.

Jevon Porter scored 13 points, Michael Ajayi added 11 points and Houston Mallette had 10 for Pepperdine (10-17, 3-9), which has dropped seven of eight.

Pepperdine missed its first four shots, allowing Saint Mary’s to jump out to an early 6-0 lead.

Malik Moore broke the drought with a 3-pointer, and the Waves managed to keep it close over the first 12 minutes as the Gaels started 2 of 11 from the floor.

Porter was fouled when he scored on a dunk to pull Pepperdine within 10-9, but he missed the free throw.

The Gaels didn’t lead by more than five until Marciulionis hit two free throws with 7:29 left in the first half for a 22-15 edge.

Ajayi, who came in averaging a team-high 17.2 points, didn’t score his first points until making two free throws with 6:09 left in the half to cut the deficit to 24-17.

Ajayi then converted a three-point play to trim the lead to four, and a Porter layup sliced the game to two with 5:02 left in the half. However, Mahaney, Marciulionis and Ducas hit 3-pointers in an 11-0 run that allowed Saint Mary’s to extend the lead to 38-24 with two minutes left in the first half.

The Gaels eventually took a 43-27 lead into intermission and then scored on five straight possessions early in the second half to extend the lead to 54-33 with 15:56 remaining in the game.

Pepperdine briefly cut the margin to 19 but could get no closer against Saint Mary’s, which came in allowing 57.7 points a game, the second fewest in the nation.