Saint Mary's guard Aidan Mahaney (20) dribbles the ball in...

Saint Mary's guard Aidan Mahaney (20) dribbles the ball in front of San Diego guard Dominic Muncey during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: AP/John Hefti

MORAGA, Calif. — Mitchell Saxen scored 20 points and No. 18 Saint Mary's won its 15th straight game to wrap up at least a share of the West Coast Conference regular-season title with a 88-62 victory over San Diego on Saturday night.

The Gaels (23-6, 14-0) have the longest active winning streak in the nation and wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the WCC tournament in Las Vegas next month. Saint Mary's can win its first outright regular-season conference title since 2012 with a victory Thursday night at Pepperdine.

“We’re not celebrating right now,” coach Randy Bennett said. “We’ve got another game Thursday in Malibu and we’ll go from there. These guys have been very good at being able to compartmentalize and not getting distracted on anything else.”

Alex Ducas had 18 points on six 3-pointers to go with 12 rebounds, Aidan Mahaney added 15 points and Augustas Marciulionis had 13 points and 10 assists for the Gaels.

Deuce Turner scored 20 points to lead San Diego (16-13, 6-8). The Toreros lost guard Wayne McKinney III to a right knee injury in the first half and wore down against the Gaels.

“They have a consistent buzz saw approach in terms of sustaining really efficient offensive basketball,” coach Steve Lavin said. "Early, we were fine in terms of the numbers offensively, but then they separated. Losing Wayne McKinney, he's our motor and engine and only played six minutes. That was a real blow for us."

Saint Mary's made seven straight baskets early in the first half to take a 10-point lead on a layup by Saxen. The Gaels frequently were able to get open looks in the lane and opened up a 43-30 halftime lead.

Saint Mary's center Mitchell Saxen (11) shoots as San Diego...

Saint Mary's center Mitchell Saxen (11) shoots as San Diego forward PJ Hayes, left, and forward Jimmy Oladokun Jr. defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: AP/John Hefti

Saint Mary's then hit four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half — including the first of Mason Forbes' college career in his 88th game — to open up a 21-point lead and rolled on from there.

“I thought we were really good in the second half. Really good," Bennett said. “We did a better job defensively. ... In the second half we were very consistent and just kept taking turf little by little.”

BIG PICTURE

San Diego: The Toreros had won six of eight games but have been unable to breakthrough against the top teams in the WCC. San Diego finished the regular season 0-6 against the top three teams in the standings, getting outscored by 23.7 points per game against Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and San Francisco.

San Diego guard Emmanuel Callas (22) fouls Saint Mary's guard...

San Diego guard Emmanuel Callas (22) fouls Saint Mary's guard Augustas Marciulionis (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: AP/John Hefti

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels set a school record with their 14th straight conference win and have a chance to wrap up a perfect regular season in WCC play with wins next week against Pepperdine and rival Gonzaga.

INJURY REPORT

The Gaels lost another big man to an injury this week with backup center Harry Wessels injuring his shoulder in practice. Wessels is in a sling and officially listed as day to day.

Saint Mary's starting forward Joshua Jefferson is out for the season with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

San Diego: Visit Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.

Saint Mary’s: Visit Pepperdine on Thursday night.

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