QUEENS, N.Y. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team withstood a Tennessee Tech rally to defeat the Golden Eagles 73-58 on Sunday afternoon in the consolation championship of the St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic.
"We are proud of our effort today," said head coach Paul Thomas. "We started the game well, struggled in the middle third and played Gaels basketball to finish off the game."
The Gaels led 29-5 in the first-half and saw the lead dwindle to one point in the second-half, but the Gaels answered the punch with a run to close out the win. With the win, Saint Mary's improves to 7-3, while Tennessee Tech drops to 5-6.
Jackie Nared led the Gaels with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Danielle Mauldin added 15 points and nine rebounds. Kate Gaze found her three-point shot, knocking down four triples and finishing with 15 points and four assists.
Morgan Hatten added eight points and six rebounds while Hayley Hendricksen added six points and five rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
TTU was led by Jala Harris with 22 points while Diamond Henderson added 19 points.
The Gaels outrebounded TTU 43-35 and SMC overcame an uncharacteristic 16-for-24 (.667) from the free-throw line.
In the first half, the Gaels opened up a 24-point lead at 29-5 with 8:46 remaining in the half. SMC would later lead 30-7 after a Gaze three-pointer and 32-12 after a pair of free-throws from Nared with 5:35 remaining in the half. TTU did a good job of chipping away before the break, pulling within 37-23 at the break.
In the second half, the Golden Eagles got the deficit down to nine points at 39-30 after a Henderson three-pointer at the 17:41 mark. Another three would pull TTU within 46-45 with 12:13 remaining as TTU had chances to pull even and take the lead.
With the Gaels clinging to a 50-49 lead at the 9:44 mark, the Gaels got consecutive jumpers from Mauldin to go up by five. Leading 57-53 with 7:15 remaining, the Gaels went on a key 11-0 run to lead 68-53 with 4:14 remaining and this time, the Gaels did not give up the lead.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Thursday when it hosts Pacific at 7:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.