MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team (14-5, 6-1 West Coast Conference) heads to Provo, Utah to take on Brigham Young (13-6, 4-2 WCC) on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. (PT). The game will be televised by BYUtv live from the Marriott Center.
The Gaels and Cougars are all tied up at 1-1 in the all-time series, a series which started last year. In McKeon Pavilion, the Gaels defeated the Cougars 54-48 on December 31, 2011. In that game, the Gaels scored the final eight points of the game, led by a Jackie Nared basket with seven seconds left and a Jasmine Smith steal of the ensuing in-bounds pass that ultimately led to the victory.
A little over a month later on February 4, the Cougars were firing on all cylinders and cruised to a win on their home court.
Saint Mary's has had several leaders this season as Jackie Nared leads the WCC in scoring (all games), averaging 18.4 ppg. Nared also adds 8.9 rpg and has nine double-doubles. Danielle Mauldin leads the WCC in rebounding with 11.4 rpg and adds 14.6 ppg. Mauldin has a team-high 11 double-doubles this season. Morgan Hatten has two double-doubles this year.
Kate Gaze has led the Gaels in scoring in each of the last three games. This includes Monday night's 20 point performance, with 17 coming in the first half. The 20 points is a season-high for Gaze.
The Gaels are one of the top rebounding teams in the WCC, having only been outrebounded three times in 19 games. The Gaels most recently outrebounded San Francisco 43-29 on Monday night.
Saint Mary's continues to get to the free-throw line with 492 trips to the charity stripe compared to 284 by its opponents. As a team, the Gaels shoot 73.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Saint Mary's has won 7-of-9 road games this year and three of SMC's five losses have come by three points or less.
BYU features point guard Haley Steed, the nation's leader in assists with 7.7 apg. Steed also averages 9.1 ppg. The Cougars are led in scoring by Jennifer Hamson with 11.6 ppg while Kim Beeston adds 10.3 ppg. Morgan Bailey adds 9.6 ppg and has grabbed a team-high 103 rebounds.
BYU is also a good free-throw shooting team, shooting at 72.0 percent. The Cougars have outrebounded their opponents in 13 of their 19 games.