With the loss, Saint Mary's drops to 17-8, 9-4 West Coast Conference, while San Diego improves to 18-8, 10-4 WCC. Even with the loss, SMC still has a shot to earn the No. 2 seed with three WCC games remaining.
"Quite obvious that this game was decided in the second half," said head coach Paul Thomas. "As much as we did right in the first half, we could not duplicate that in the second 20 minutes... too many breakdowns on the defensive side of the ball."
Saint Mary's was led by Jackie Nared with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Kate Gaze added 11 points. Danielle Mauldin was held to just four points and four rebounds, but was in foul trouble all game, including picking up her fourth foul just 38 seconds into the second half.
Saint Mary's was also outrebounded in the game by a 44-28 margin. Saint Mary's had 12 points off the bench, including five points from Amanda Arter.
USD was led by Amy Kame with 21 points while Maya Hood finished with 14 points.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Saturday night when it hosts Loyola Marymount at 7:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.