PORTLAND, Ore. — Another night of balance and big runs Thursday led the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team to its seventh straight win and set up a showdown Saturday between the West Coast Conference’s top two teams, as the Gaels ran past Portland, 75-65, at the Chiles Center.
The Gaels (15-9, 10-3 WCC) extended their winning streak to seven games and have now won nine of their last 10. Saint Mary’s did it with three players scoring in double figures – the seventh time in the last nine games at least three Gaels had double-digit points. Saint Mary’s had nine players score at least one point and nine grab at least one rebound.
Stella Beck led all players with 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting. Carly Turner had 13 points with three 3-pointers. Devon Brookshire had 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds off the bench. Devyn Galland also hit three 3-pointers for nine points. The Gaels again owned the paint, outscoring Portland (4-20, 2-11 WCC) down low 38-20 and outrebounding them 39-27.
Saint Mary’s win, coupled with first-place Gonzaga’s 73-61 victory over Loyola Marymount, sets up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in the WCC’s women’s basketball race on Saturday. The Gaels will take on the Bulldogs in Spokane, Wash., at 2 p.m. Saturday. Fans can watch the game streamed live on the Gaels’ Gameday Central Page.
The Gaels fell behind early, as Portland started the game on a 14-5 run. The Pilots made six of their first seven shots, including two treys from Holly Blades. But the tables turned at the five-minute mark. Portland would only make one field goal for the rest of the quarter, going 1 for 10. Meanwhile, the Gaels finished the quarter on a 21-5 run to lead 26-19 at the end of one.
Saint Mary’s quickly put the game out of reach in the second quarter. The entire period was a big run for SMC as it outscored Portland 19-7. Turner scored seven of her 13 points in the quarter including two treys. Saint Mary’s carried its largest halftime lead of the year into the break with a 19-point, 45-26 advantage.
The Gaels’ roadtrip continues Saturday at first-place Gonzaga. It concludes Thursday at Loyola Marymount before they return home on Feb. 18 versus Gonzaga. Senior Day is Feb. 23 versus Pepperdine. Tickets for remaining home games can be purchased on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
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