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WBK | Gaels Come Back To Beat Broncos For 4th Straight Win

Megan McKay led all players with 20 points Thursday on 9-for-10 shooting. She also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Jan. 11, 2018

Final Stats

MORAGA, Calif. -- It took a number of adjustments after a slow start Thursday, but the Saint Mary's women's basketball team eventually overcame the West Coast Conference's best defensive team with a third quarter outburst, winning its fourth game in a row with a 59-46 WCC victory over Santa Clara at McKeon Pavilion.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Broncos (5-11, 1-4 WCC) led the Gaels (11-5, 4-1 WCC) by one, 23-22, at halftime after holding the conference's best shooting team and No. 11 in the country to a 34.6 field goal percent. But all of that changed coming out of the locker room. SMC made its first six shots of the third quarter and shot 90 percent (9 for 10) in the frame with three 3-pointers, outscoring Santa Clara 24-11 and taking a 12-point lead with a 15-2 run at the end of the quarter.

  • Santa Clara's fastidious and tenacious defense held the Gaels to just 2-for-7 shooting to start the game and 5 for 16 (31.3 percent) in the first quarter. SMC turned the ball over three times in the first 3 minutes, 11 seconds. Meanwhile, the Broncos went on a 12-3 run to take a 10-point lead eight minutes in. Stella Beck's 3-pointer and Megan McKay's layup cut the deficit in half by the end of the period at 17-12.

  • The tables started turning in the second quarter ahead of the pivotal third period. Santa Clara shot just 17.6 percent in the second after starting the game 5 for 8 (62.5 percent). It was still a defensive scrum, as SMC only outscored SCU 10-6 in the quarter.

  • Saint Mary's shot 68.2 percent in the second half and would finish the game with a 50.0 field goal percentage - the ninth time it has shot at least 50 percent this season. McKay finished with a game-high 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Madeline Holland chipped in eight points and Claire Ferguson added seven off the bench with two rebounds and three assists in 16 minutes.
HEAD COACH Paul Thomas
  • "They do a really good job of dictating pace. Our initial thing was to try and press and make them play our pace, and I don't want to say it didn't work because they turned the ball over a few times, we got a couple easy baskets, but the problem was once we got the ball and they got their defense set, we slowed way down."

  • "I think in the second half our defensive rebounding was way better, which allowed us to get the ball out and run, and we scored in transition several times in the second half. We adjusted our personnel a little bit and that did wonders for us."

  • "Claire played some important minutes tonight and we needed that. Her 16 minutes were big out there because they allowed them to be physical out there and she did a good job of being physical with Santa Clara, and I think that was a huge key. Emily Codding did a really good job tonight. She mixed it up and got a few rebounds."

  • "The thing that we're most concerned with is our prep work tomorrow. We all felt really comfortable because we had a great week of prep. The energy was good, we felt we got something accomplished, the scout was spot on. You get out in the game and you don't execute the scout, that's probably the most frustrating thing as a coach."
PLAYER QUOTES
Megan McKay
  • "Spacing, knowing where the girls were, they passed to me beautifully. I think just positioning on the court, you can only do so much, its a team sport, so everyone has got to be on the same page for it to be successful."

  • "We usually come out strong after halftime. Competing was one of our main things. We were all pretty content with watching the ball hit the floor whereas at the end of the second half we needed to go out there and get it for ourselves, so that changed for sure."
Claire Ferguson
  • "Great passes from teammates and teammates being open to knock down the shots and give us the assists which made it really easy. We had a lot of assists today and that really contributed to good team win."
COMING UP
  • The Gaels' four-game home stand continues at 2 p.m. Saturday versus Pepperdine. Tickets are available for purchase on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx. Fans can find all live coverage links on SMCGaels.com.

 

 

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