MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -- Wayne Hunter scored 15 of his career-high 22 points in the second half to lead Saint Mary's to a 69-54 win over Loyola Marymount on Monday night.
Diamon Simpson added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Gaels (13-10, 5-2 West Coast Conference), winners of seven of eight.
Matthew Knight and Adoyah Miller had 17 points apiece for Loyola Marymount (9-14, 1-6 WCC), which failed to capitalize on momentum from Saturday's 74-71 upset win over Santa Clara. The Lions trailed the entire game against Saint Mary's, falling behind by as many as 16 en route to their ninth loss in 10 games since losing leading scorer Brandon Worthy to a knee injury.
Saint Mary's, which was coming off a heartbreaking 68-66 loss to Pepperdine on Saturday that knocked the Gaels out of a first-place tie in the WCC, struggled at times with its offense against the Lions. But the Gaels committed just eight turnovers for the game and held Loyola Marymount to nine points over the final 9:30.
The Lions also struggled down the stretch to slow Hunter, whose previous career-high of 21 came during a Dec. 28 win over Western Carolina. The sophomore guard made three 3-point plays over a three-minute span in the second half to break open a close game and put Saint Mary's comfortably ahead for good.
Hunter finished 8 of 13 from the floor and scored 12 of the Gaels' final 23 points.
Saint Mary's, which had won four straight including a stunning 85-78 upset of perennial power Gonzaga on Jan. 15 before the loss to Pepperdine, led 33-25 at halftime, but saw its lead cut to one early in the second half after Damian Martin's layup with 12:28 remaining.
Hunter then made the first of his trio of three-point plays to ignite a 14-4 run for the Gaels. Todd Smith and Brett Collins followed with consecutive 3-pointers before Hunter's short, spinning jumper off the glass put Saint Mary's ahead 64-48 with 5:30 left to play.
Knight made his first seven shots against Saint Mary's and finished 8 of 10 from the floor.