MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team used a 19-7 run to close the game and defeat Brigham Young 64-52 on Saturday afternoon in McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels executed down the stretch and committed just three, second-half turnovers in the game.
With the win, Saint Mary's improves to 16-6, 8-2 West Coast Conference, while BYU drops to 16-7, 7-3 WCC. The Gaels move into sole possession of second-place and face Gonzaga on Thursday, with first-place on the line.
The Gaels had to overcome BYU connecting on 11 three-pointers, including six by the Cougars' Haley Steed who finished with a game-high 18 points.
Saint Mary's was led by Danielle Mauldin who came off the bench to score 12 points with 10 rebounds in 27 minutes. The Gaels also got 10 points from Kate Gaze and Jackie Nared added nine points and nine rebounds. Andrea Bailey got her second consecutive start and scored nine points with five rebounds. Carli Rosenthal also chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds. Morgan Hatten had six points and six assists.
The Gaels outrebounded the Cougars 41-29 and converted 71.4 percent from the free-throw line. BYU was just 3-for-8 from the line (37.5 percent).
After the Gaels built a six point lead in the first half, the Cougars came back to lead by seven points with 5:39 left. SMC closed the half strongly as BYU led 30-28 at the break.
In the second half, the Cougars went up 36-31 with 17:41 left on a three-pointer by Stephanie Seaborn. The Gaels would crawl back and take the lead at 37-36 on a Gaze jumper with 13:50 remaining.
The teams would go back-and-forth as the lead would change eight times in the game. After Steed tied the game at 45-45, the Gaels scored on the next trip down as Nared hit a baseline jumper and SMC led 47-45 with 6:57 remaining. With SMC up 50-47, the Gaels went on a 10-0 run to lead 60-47 at the 1:03 mark. The Gaels assisted on each basket during the run.
Saint Mary's would close out the game at 64-52.
BYU and SMC have now met four times, all coming in the last two years. Each team has won twice, each winning on its homecourt.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Thursday, February 14 when it heads to Spokane to take on Gonzaga. Tip is set for 6:00 p.m.