MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team (20-10) returns to the postseason for the fourth consecutive year and will host Seattle on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. This will also be the eighth time the Gaels will be playing in the postseason since 1999.
Saint Mary's has had a strong year, hovering around No. 30 in the RPI for much of the year. SMC enters the WNIT with an RPI of 49, which is one of the stronger RPI's in the field.
The Gaels have won 82 games over the last four seasons, with back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign. The Gaels advanced to the NCAA Tournament during the 2000-01 year.
The Gaels are led by the West Coast Conference scoring leader and rebounding leader (all games). Jackie Nared averages 16.6 ppg and 8.7 rpg while Danielle Mauldin averages 13.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg. The duo has combined for 30 double-doubles, with Mauldin leading the way with 17 this year.
The Gaels went 11-5 during the conference season and were the only WCC team to hand conference champion Gonzaga a loss during WCC play.
During the season, the Gaels faces several NCAA Tournament teams in (California, Chattanooga, Cal Poly, UCLA and Gonzaga), with wins over Chattanooga, Gonzaga and on the road at Cal Poly.
Saint Mary's went 10-2 at home this season, with the lone losses coming against San Diego and Pacific.