MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team (12-5, 4-1 West Coast Conference) returns to action this week with two games against its Bay Area rivals. On Thursday, the Gaels travel to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos (12-6, 4-1 WCC) at 7:00 p.m. in the Leavey Center. On Monday, Saint Mary's hosts San Francisco (8-11, 1-5 WCC) at 7:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.
Saint Mary's has won the last six meetings against Santa Clara, including last year's sweep, winning by 20 in Moraga and 10 in Santa Clara. Looking deeper into the all-time series, the Gaels have won 11 of the last 12 match-ups, dating back to the 2007 season. The Gaels will be looking to even the all-time series as the Broncos hold a 28-27 advantage.
Santa Clara is off to its best WCC start since the 2007-08 season. The Broncos have WCC wins over Portland 59-58, LMU 58-54, Pepperdine 38-36 and USF 61-48. SCU's lone WCC loss came at Gonzaga 79-50.
SCU is led by Meagan Fulps with 11.4 ppg. Ricki Radanovich adds 10.8 ppg and has connected on a team-high 38 three pointers. SCU also has the posts down low with Lindsay Leo with 10.1 ppg and Rita Zurauskyte with 9.6ppg and 7.4 rpg.
The Gaels have won 14 of the last 16 meetings against the Dons. SMC defeated USF earlier this month 68-48 in the WCC opener for both squads. San Francisco last won in McKeon Pavilion on January 24, 2008. The Gaels have won four straight on the Moraga campus over USF.
USF will host Brigham Young on Saturday, before squaring off with the Gaels on Monday night. The Dons are led by Mel Khlok with 15.6 ppg while Zhane Dikes adds 10.3 ppg.
Saint Mary's is led by Jackie Nared with 19.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg. She is second on the team with nine double-doubles this season. Danielle Mauldin, the WCC leading rebounder, has a team high 10 double-doubles and averages 14.8 ppg and 11.1 rpg. Kate Gaze is also averaging 11.6 ppg while Morgan Hatten has a team-high 53 assists.