MORAGA, Calif. (AP) Jordan Ford scored 23 points with five assists, Malik Fitts had a double-double and Saint Mary's pulled away from McNeese State for an 87-65 win on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Fitts, in his first game after transferring from South Florida and redshirting, had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ford and Fitts combined to make 16 of 26 shots, with Fitts hitting three 3-pointers. Elijah Thomas hit four 3s and scored 12 points.
The Gaels, coming off the first 30-win season in school history, shot 53 percent, including 13 of 31 from 3-point range.
A 10-0 run in the middle of the first half put Saint Mary's up by 12. It was 34-23 at the half and after the Cowboys closed within eight early in the second half, a 13-0 run by the Gaels broke it open.
Malik Hines had 26 points for McNeese State, on 11 of 14 shooting. The rest of the Cowboys were 16 of 45.
Heath Schroyer was making his debut as the McNeese State head coach.