With the win, Saint Mary’s improves to 17-4, 7-3 West Coast Conference, while BYU drops to 16-5, 6-4 WCC.
Kate Gaze led the Gaels with 15 points, including a three-pointer with 25 seconds left to put SMC up 71-66, right after BYU pulled within 68-66 with 40 seconds remaining.
Shannon Mauldin added 14 points and one of the highlights of the night. Mauldin split two defenders in the air and converted a double-pump lay-up off the glass at the 1:46 mark to put the Gaels up by seven.
Danielle Mauldin added 13 points and 13 rebounds in just 26 minutes, sitting much of the second-half with foul trouble. Amanda Arter chipped in with a career-high 12 points and four rebounds and Jackie Nared scored 11 points with six rebounds and five assists.
BYU was led by Lexi Eaton with 28 points and Jennifer Hamson with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The first-half was an unconventional one for the Gaels as SMC only got to the free-throw line three times. SMC was outshot 40 to 36 percent from the field, but the Gaels hit eight of their nine three-pointers in the first-half. This included two three-pointers from Arter and one from Danielle Mauldin. It was Danielle Mauldin’s first three-point attempt of the season. She would finished with her 17th double-double of the year in game No. 21.
Danielle Mauldin’s three-pointer gave SMC its largest lead of the game at 36-26 with2:03 left until half. BYU closed the half strong and pulled within 36-30 at the break.
In the second half, BYU pulled within 44-41 at the 14:23 mark, but Gaze found Danielle Mauldin for an easy two to push the lead back up to 49-41 with 12:43 remaining. SMC led 53-43 after a pair of Nared free-throws at the 10:17 mark, but the Cougars would not go quietly.
With SMC leading 61-51 at the 5:38 mark, the Cougars made their final run. BYU pulled within 62-59 at the 3:21 mark and later 68-66 with 43 seconds left. SMC called timeout with 40 seconds left and set up the play for Gaze.
Gaze knocked down the three-pointer in the corner to push SMC’s lead back up to 71-66 with 25 seconds left and essentially locked up the game for the Gaels. SMC hit their free-throws down the stretch to close out the game. With SMC up six, BYU hit a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds on the clock to pull within three. SMC got the inbound pass in, and was fouled, converting to more free-throws to close out the scoring at 75-70 SMC.
Saint Mary’s is back in action when it hosts San Diego at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in McKeon Pavilion.