Jackie Nared led the way for the Gaels, hitting two key three-pointers in the second-half and finished with 18 points. Nared added six assists, four rebounds and two blocks.
"Today was our first test on the road and I thought we passed with flying colors," said head coach Paul Thomas. "We struggled to start the second-half, but regained our composure and stretched out the lead."
Also in double-figures were Carli Rosenthal and Danielle Mauldin with 10 points apiece. Rosenthal did all of her scoring in just 15 minutes of action, limited due to foul trouble. Lauren Nicholson added nine points and five rebounds.
The Gaels also got more bench production as Hayley Hendricksen led the way with six points and six rebounds. The SMC bench totaled 17 points and 18 rebounds.
The Gaels shot much better from the free-throw line compared to the season opener. SMC hit 12-of-15 from the charity stripe, good for 80 percent.
"The box score says it all... all 11 players contributed today," said Thomas.
Saint Mary’s began the game hitting its first five shots and taking a 10-5 lead through two minutes of the game. Nared hit her first four shots of the game and the Gaels went on a 15-1 run to close the half, over the last six minutes until the break and led 41-21.
In the first half, the Gaels shot 44.7 percent and out-rebounded PSU 26-15. The Gaels forced PSU into 13 first-half turnovers.
The Vikings pulled within 48-45 after going on an 11-0 run in the 2nd half. After the 12 minute media, the Vikings and Gaels exchanged possessions without scoring, PSU misfiring on a couple three-pointers to potentially tie the game. Gaze stopped the run with a big drive to just inside the foul-line and pulled up and hit the 13-foot jumper.
The Gaze bucked sparked a 9-0 run over 2:37 for the Gaels, capped by a Nared three-pointer to push the lead back up to 57-45. After the media timeout, Nicholson hit on a corner three-pointer to push the run to 12-0 and the Gaels led by 15 with 6:08 remaining.
From that point the Gaels did not look back and cruised to the victory.
Portland State was led by Kate Lanz with 21 points and eight rebounds. It was the season opener for the Vikings.
For the Gaels, Sabrina Engelstad and Samira McDonald saw action for the first time in an SMC uniform.
Saint Mary’s is back in action on Saturday, November 16 when it travels to Indianapolis to take on Butler at 9:00 a.m. (PT).