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Danielle Mauldin scored 22 points with 22 rebounds in helping the Gaels rally from a 14-point deficit.
Danielle Mauldin scored 22 points with 22 rebounds in helping the Gaels rally from a 14-point...
WBK | Mauldin's Big Day Leads 2nd-Half Surge In Victory
Release: Monday 11/23/2013 
by SMC Athletics
MORAGA, Calif.Danielle Mauldin was not going to be denied a Gael victory on an afternoon where she scored her 1,000th career point. The senior post scored 22 points with a career-high 22 rebounds, helping lead the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team to a 77-69 victory over Cal Poly.

The Gaels trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and 12 at halftime, before outscoring CP 53-33 in the second half to improve to 5-0 on the season.

In addition to Mauldin’s big night, Kate Gaze scored 21 points with a career-high eight rebounds and five assists. Gaze, who started the game 0-for-8 from the field, went 4-for-5 the rest of the way and was clutch at the free-throw line, converting 12-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Playing once again with just nine players available, the Gaels outrebounded CP 53-37, including a 22-12 edge on the offensive boards. The Gaels hit 82 percent of their free-throws in the second-half and finished the game 30-for-42 from the line.

Cal Poly took its largest lead of the game in the first half at 33-19 with 1:45 before the break. SMC shot just 26 percent in the first half, but kept the Mustangs within striking distance, trailing 36-24 at the break.

Rewinding back to last year’s match-up in San Luis Obispo, the Gaels also trailed by 12, before outscoring CP 50-35 in the 2nd half to earn the three point win.

The Gaels came out with renewed energy in the second half, scoring on their first three possessions, cutting the deficit to 38-31 and forcing CP into an early timeout.

CP led 44-34 at the 16:15 mark and later 58-51 with 8:42 remaining. Saint Mary’s went on an 8-0 run, capped by a foot-on the three-point line jumper by Lauren Nicholson to give SMC the lead at 59-58 with 6:13 remaining.

The Mustangs led 66-64 with 3:33 left before the Gaels made their game-winning run.

Nicholson tied the game with a jumper assisted by Gaze with 2:29 remaining. After a stop at the other end, Gaze drilled a three-pointer for the 69-66 lead with 1:29 remaining. The two baskets sparked a game-ending 13-3 run by the Gaels.

SMC hit its free-throws down the stretch and when the Gaels missed, Sabrina Engelstad grabbed a key offensive board to eat up more time and get SMC back on the line. Engelstad scored four points with four rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.

Also adding career-highs in the game for SMC was Samira McDonald with seven points and three rebounds and Hannah Kaser with seven points and two steals.

Carli Rosenthal was back in the starting lineup after missing a game and finished with five points and seven rebounds (six offensive).

Cal Poly was led by Ariana Elegado with 14 points and seven assists.

The 22 rebounds by Mauldin were just three shy of the school single-game record set by Mary Ann Little during the 1980 season.

Saint Mary’s is back in action on Friday, November 28th when it hosts the SMC Hilton-Concord Classic. The Gaels host Alabama at 2:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion. The first match-up of the Classic features Toledo vs. CSU Fullerton at noon.