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Gaels’ balance turns back UOP

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POSTED December 31, 2013 1:56 a.m.

STOCKTON (AP) — All five starters scored in double figures as Saint Mary’s ruined Pacific’s debut in the West Coast Conference with an 88-80 win Monday.

Beau Levesque led the Gaels (10-3) with 18 points. James Walker III, Stephen Holt and Kerry Carter had 15 each and Brad Waldow had 14.

Andrew Bock had 23 for Pacific (9-3) and Sama Taku added 17.

Saint Mary’s bounced back after losing three straight in Hawaii. The Gaels were playing without head coach Randy Bennett, who began serving a five-game suspension. Eran Ganot is the interim coach.

Pacific, which trailed 45-39 at the half, pulled within one before the Gaels went on a 12-2 run to go up 57-46. Waldow had three baskets and Carter and Levesque knocked down 3’s.

Saint Mary’s hit 13 of 26 from 3-point range, shot 52 percent for the game but only made 6 of 12 free throws down the stretch.

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