MORAGA, Calif. – The stage is set for a big game in McKeon Pavilion on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team (17-4, 7-3 West Coast Conference), hosts San Diego (18-3, 7-3 WCC) in a match-up featuring two similar styles. With both teams tied for second-place, the winner will have the upper-hand in possibly overtaking Gonzaga for the regular season crown.
The Gaels are coming off Thursday night’s 75-70 win over Brigham Young. SMC spread the offense around as all five starters scored in double-figures. The Gaels tied a season-high with nine three-pointers made, but only went to the free-throw line 18 times, just the fifth time this season the Gaels were held to under 20 free-throw attempts.
Saint Mary’s has played well on its home court this season, reeling off 11 wins in 11 games. The Gaels will have their hands full with San Diego, a team the Gaels have not beaten in six straight meetings. This season’s earlier match-up in San Diego resulted in an 80-70 win for the Toreros. The game was much closer than the score indicated, as it was a one-possession game under the final media timeout.
San Diego’s WCC losses have come at Portland, at Gonzaga and at Pacific. SMC’s WCC losses have come at San Diego, at BYU and at Pacific. Saint Mary’s is still the only team in the WCC with a win over Gonzaga this season.
Gone are the double-byes in the WCC Tournament, but there is still an advantage to being a top-2 seed. The top two seeds will have the advantage of playing an opponent in a back-to-back situation as the first-round of games are on Thursday, before the quarterfinals take place a day later on Friday. Seeds seven through 10 play games on Thursday.
After Saturday’s game, there are only a few more opportunities to catch the Gaels in Moraga. SMC hosts Pacific on February 8th, San Francisco on February 20th and Santa Clara on Senior Day, February 22nd.