MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team posted some of its best numbers of the year Monday in taking care of the ball and defending it, but visiting CSUN made 12 3-pointers and also defended well to come away with a 73-61 non-conference win at McKeon Pavilion.
Saint Mary’s (5-6) handled the ball better than it has all season, posting a season-low nine turnovers. The Gaels also had 16 assists, making for a 1.78 assists-to-turnovers ratio – more than twice as good as their ratio of 0.82 coming into the game. SMC also matched a season-high with 49 rebounds and set a new season-high with five blocks.
But despite a top-50 nationally ranked 3-point field goal defense for Saint Mary’s, CSUN (6-5) made a dozen treys and shot 46.2 percent (12 for 26) from downtown. The Gaels, also a typically strong free-throw shooting team, missed 11 free throws (12 for 23) in what was a 12-point decision. SMC shot a season-low 34.8 percent from the floor.
Megan McKay posted her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. She had six of Saint Mary’s 18 offensive boards, but the Gaels only had eight second-chance points. Stella Beck led SMC with 15 points and four assists while Devyn Galland added 13 with four helpers.
Channon Fluker posted a double-double for CSUN with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Serafina Maulupe scored a game-high 23 points with four 3-pointers and a 7 for 8 showing at the charity stripe. It was the second straight game that Saint Mary’s allowed a player to score 20+ after Savannah Scott scored 27 for Northern Colorado on Friday.
The Gaels led 22-15 after the first quarter but proceeded to get outscored in each of the final three periods. A 16-2 second quarter run gave CSUN a 31-26 lead. The stretch included four treys, two from Maulupe. SMC responded with a quick 9-3 burst in the third frame for a 41-37 lead, but it was the last time it would have the advantage. Another 16-3 run by the Matadors that spanned the final two quarters put them ahead for good.
Saint Mary’s takes a 10-day break for the holiday before opening West Coast Conference play on Dec. 29 at home against Loyola Marymount. Tickets are available via the Gaels’ tickets website or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
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