MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team got a career-high from Danielle Mauldin and defeated Butler 85-74 on Friday afternoon in McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels featured a balanced attack with four players in double figures and outrebounded Butler 45-31.
With the win, Saint Mary's improves to 2-2 while Butler drops to 2-3.
Mauldin poured in a career-high 24 points on 9-for-12 field-goals, adding eight rebounds. Jackie Nared had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Kate Gaze added 17 points, six rebounds and six assists. Morgan Hatten was also in double figures with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Butler was led by Taylor Schippers with 27 points as the Bulldogs kept the game close with the three-ball, connecting on nine in the game.
The Gaels built a 13-point lead in the first half after a three-pointer by Gaze. Butler ended the first half strong by pulling within 44-37 at the break. The Gaels dominated the paint in the first-half, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-6.
In the second-half, the Bulldogs cut the deficit down to three points with 10:05 left after a basket by Daress McClung. Back-to-back scores by Amanda Arter and Hayley Hendricksen quickly put SMC back on top by seven at 66-59 with 8:34 remaining.
Butler had one final push, coming back within 78-72 with 2:01 left and later 80-74 with 1:43 remaining, but the Gaels knocked down free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Carli Rosenthal added eight points and six rebounds for SMC, while Amanda Arter had six points in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Gaels shot 53.3 percent in the first-half and 47.5 percent for the game. Butler shot 40.6 percent for the game and took 34 three-pointers, connecting on nine (26.5 percent).
In the first game of the Classic, Chattanooga defeated Portland State 68-59.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when the Gael host Chattanooga. First up on Saturday will be Portland State taking on Butler at 12:00 p.m.