MORAGA -- Matthew Dellavedova showed little emotion when he hit the fadeaway jumper, but the sellout crowd at McKeon Pavilion knew the significance of the senior guard's shot.
Just a day after the NCAA came down hard on the Saint Mary's College men's basketball program for a series of rules and recruiting violations, focus shifted back to the court Saturday night as Dellavedova made school history by becoming the Gaels' all-time leading scorer.
Saint Mary's went on to post an 80-67 victory over rival Santa Clara by pulling away in the game's final four minutes.
Santa Clara (21-10, 9-7 WCC) led much of the first half and looked fully capable of pulling the upset, staying close until the very end. A Kevin Foster 3-pointer got the Broncos within 63-62 with 4:08 left, but Saint Mary's (26-5, 14-2 WCC) got a series of stops and went on a 10-0 run by getting to the free-throw line to help close out the victory.
Despite 21 points and eight rebounds from Marc Trasolini, the Broncos lost to the Gaels for the ninth straight time. Foster added 14 points for Santa Clara, which shot only 39.3 percent from the field.
Dellavedova finished with 21 points and broke Daniel Kickert's previous record of 1,784 career points on the jump shot with 3:53 left in the first half.
That was just part of what was an emotional night for the Saint Mary's team and coach Randy Bennett.
For the players, the emotions had more to do with senior night.
None of the NCAA's penalties directly affect this year's Gaels team, which has won 18 of its last 20 games and is gunning for a spot in the NCAA tournament. Dellavedova said Friday's news wasn't a distraction for the team, and Bennett agreed.
"There's nothing we can control about that," said Dellavedova. "I think we're as focused as any team I've been on here. We're locked in right now."
Bennett received a standing ovation from the crowd when he made his first appearance on the court.
"I tried staying focused, but it meant a lot to me," Bennett said of the support he received from Saint Mary's fans.
He called the past 48 hours a major distraction for himself.
Santa Clara had a chance entering Saturday's game to move up to the No. 3 seed in the WCC tournament and avoid Gonzaga's side of the bracket, but it needed a win against the Gaels and a BYU loss for that to happen. Instead, the Broncos will enter the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed with a bye into the quarterfinals.
"I am proud of our guys' efforts tonight," Broncos coach Kerry Keating said. "They came out and battled in a tough environment, especially on senior night. Had a couple of possessions gone a little different on both ends, it's a different ballgame."
The Gaels are the No. 2 seed and have a bye into the semifinals.
The regular-season finale was likely the final home game for Dellavedova, Mitchell Young, Kyle Rowley, Tim Williams and Paul McCoy.
There was a feel-good moment at the end when Williams, who hadn't played all season because of injury, entered the game with 11.8 seconds left. Santa Clara allowed him to shoot a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which he made for the final margin of victory.
Wire services contributed to this report.