MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team (17-7, 9-3 West Coast Conference) plays its next-to-last weekend of WCC action this week. On Thursday night, the Gaels take on San Diego (17-8, 9-4 WCC) at Jenny Craig Pavilion at 7:00 p.m. The Gaels return home on Saturday night to take on Loyola Marymount (9-16, 3-9 WCC) at 7:00 p.m. in Moraga.
Saint Mary's is coming off a trip to the northwest which saw the Gaels lose at Gonzaga and then rebound to claim a victory at Portland. The Gaels have been victorious after all seven losses this season.
SMC is led by Jackie Nared with 17.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg while Danielle Mauldin adds 14.0 ppg and 10.8 rpg. Kate Gaze is also in double figures averaging 11.5 ppg. The Gaels have had players accumulate 27 double-doubles this season, led by Mauldin (13), Nared (11) and Morgan Hatten (3).
Saint Mary's is the top free-throw shooting team in the WCC, shooting at 72.5 percent. SMC has outrebounded its opponents by a 43.9 - 34.8 margin this season.
San Diego is the only conference school that SMC has not beaten in the last two years. USD won both match-ups in 2011-12 and won by a 73-70 score in McKeon Pavilion earlier this season. SMC is 39-15 all-time against the Toreros and won five straight meetings with USD before the present three-game USD winning streak.
USD is led by Amy Kame with 16.2 ppg while Maya Hood averages 10.4 ppg. Katelyn McDaniel chips in with 10.2 ppg while Klara Wischer averages 7.5 ppg. Kame, Hood and Wischer have each won WCC Player of the Week awards this year.
Saint Mary's has won the last four match-ups with Loyola Marymount, however all four match-ups were close games, being decided by 10 points or less. On January 5, the Gaels won at LMU in overtime by an 84-77 score. Hatten, Nared and Mauldin each had double-doubles for the Gaels in the win.
LMU is led by Alex Cowling with 15.7 ppg and 7.2 rpg. Hazel Ramirez adds12.9 ppg and has 124 assists this season. The Lions played one game last week and lost to San Diego by a 66-59 margin. The Lions will play at Pepperdine on Thursday, before making the trip to Moraga. LMU is 0-10 in road games this season.