MORAGA, Calif. – The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team could not hold off Utah in a 58-55 loss to the Utes on Saturday in the WNIT quarterfinals. The Gaels took the lead with 8:01 remaining, but Utah pulled out the win and advanced to the WNIT semifinals against Kansas State.
Saint Mary’s season comes to an end with a 23-11 record. The 2012-13 Gaels were also the first SMC women’s basketball team to go throughout a season without back-to-back losses. SMC was 10-0 following a loss.
Danielle Mauldin easily became the SMC single-season rebounding leader with her 18th double-double of the year. Mauldin finished the game with 14 points and 14 rebounds, giving her 356 boards for the season (10.8 rpg).
The Gaels withstood Utah going 11-for-22 from three-point range. SMC outrebounded Utah 39-28 and converted 15-of-17 from the free-throw line. The Gaels committed just nine turnovers, including three in the first-half.
Saint Mary’s got its first lead of the game when Jackie Nared buried a three-pointer with 8:01 remaining at 51-50. That field-goal was also SMC’s final field-goal of the game as the Gaels made free-throws the rest of the way.
The Gaels were down 58-55 with 54 seconds left and got a big defensive stop on the other end. SMC had the ball trailing by three with 20 seconds left. The Utah defense tightened as the Gaels did not get a very good look at the potential tying three pointer as time ran out after the miss.
Nared finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds and five steals while Kate Gaze added 13 points and three assists. Morgan Hatten added five points, seven rebounds and two steals, while Carli Rosenthal added four points and six rebounds.
Utah was led by Michelle Plouffe with 20 points and eight rebounds.