PROVO, Utah — An early blowout led to a nail-biter Thursday as the Saint Mary's women's basketball team rallied late to outscore host BYU in the second half, but the Gaels' comeback fell short as BYU was able to secure a 70-65 West Coast Conference win at the Marriott Center.
Saint Mary’s started the game with four straight turnovers. SMC would eventually settle down to make it a one-point game 6 1/2 minutes in. But BYU went on a tear in the final 46 seconds, scoring seven straight points to lead 22-13 after the first quarter.
The Gaels struggled shooting in the second quarter. SMC made just two of their last 11 shots in the period and posted a 27.8 percent field goal percentage. Meanwhile, the Cougars shot 61.5 percent in the first half and had two players with double-figure points. BYU led 38-25 at halftime.
Even though BYU still held a 54-43 lead at the end of the third quarter, Saint Mary’s came out of halftime with a different mentality. The Gaels outscored the Cougars 18-16 in the quarter even while both teams struggled to create quality shots. Sydney Raggio and Stella Beck were finally able to get on the board as well as Sydney Raggio, who scored the final two points of the quarter on free throws.
The Gaels came out fighting in the fourth quarter. Saint Mary's outscored the Cougars 22-16 and at one point went on an 11-0 run to tie up the game at 59. Beck found her rhythm as well as she scored six of her nine points in the quarter including a clutch lay-in with 3 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Devon Brookshire lead a strong bench for SMC as she finished with a season-high 15 points and five rebounds. She scored the final points for the Gaels on a back door cut and had a look at a tying 3-pointer, but it was blocked by Kristine Nielson. Jasmine Forcadilla and Shannon Mauldin rounded out the solid bench play finishing with eight points each. Megan McKay ended as the only starter for the Gaels with double-figures finishing with 12 points and five rebounds.
Saint Mary’s was outrebounded for the second straight game, 38-34. Kalani Purcell and Cassie Roadhead ended as the standouts for the Cougars. Purcell nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Roadhead lead all scorers with 22 points.
Saint Mary’s next begins a three-game West Coast Conference home stand starting at 1 p.m. Saturday against cross-bay rival San Francisco. Tickets are available for purchase on the SMCGaels.com tickets website or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx. All the games will be broadcast live on the Gaels’ “GaelVision” Gameday Central page.
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