MORAGA (CBS/AP) — Matthew Dellavedova scored 11 points, Rob Jones added 10 and 10 rebounds and Saint Mary’s overcame a sluggish start to beat Northern Iowa 57-41 on Monday night.
The Gaels (2-0) missed nine of their first 11 shots but went on two 19-4 runs, at the end of the first half and again midway through the second half, to roll to their second consecutive lopsided win. Saint Mary’s beat Fresno Pacific by 40 points in its opener.
Dellavedova shot only 4 of 12 from the floor but made two 3-pointers and had eight points during the Gaels’ big run after halftime. One of four starters returning for Saint Mary’s, Dellavedova added seven assists.
Johnny Moran scored 13 points and Chip Rank added 11 for Northern Iowa (1-1). The Panthers, coming off their third straight 20-win season under coach Ben Jacobson, shot just 32 percent and trailed by as much as 28.
The game, part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, started at 11 p.m local time, which might have explained the slow start for both teams.
Northern Iowa was also playing its second game in less than 60 hours with a 3,000-mile trip thrown in. The Panthers beat Old Dominion 63-46 on Saturday in Norfolk, Va., before flying to the West Coast for the game at Saint Mary’s.
The Gaels, 25-9 a year ago, recovered after their early stumble and pulled away in this first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Deon Mitchell made a 3-pointer with 12:42 left in the first half to give Northern Iowa a 9-7 lead before Saint Mary’s went on its big run. Jorden Page had five points during the run, Dellavedova hit a key 3-pointer and Stephen Holt added a breakaway dunk as the Gaels took a 26-13 halftime lead.
Holt finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
The Panthers scored nine of their 13 first-half points in a span of 2:47 but shot just 21.4 percent from the floor (6 of 28) and were 1 for 10 on 3s before the break.
Clint Steindl, Jones and Dellavedova made consecutive 3s midway through the second half, and Dellavedova later added another from beyond the arc to put the Gaels up 51-23.
Moran scored 11 straight points, including three 3s, to pull the Panthers to 51-34 before the two teams traded baskets over the final 4 minutes.
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