WBK | Gaels' Streak Moves To 5 With Win Over Waves
Saint Mary's women's basketball's Megan McKay scored a career-high 28 points to go with seven rebounds
MORAGA, Calif. -- Efficiency and inside presence pushed the Saint Mary's women's basketball team Saturday with Megan McKay leading the charge on a career-high 28 points as the Gaels won their fifth straight West Coast Conference game with a 75-62 victory over Pepperdine at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary's (12-5, 5-1 WCC) sealed the win midway through the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 15-point lead. McKay's last layup of the game came during the run and set a new career-high with 28 points. The Gaels held the Waves without a field goal for the final 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the game and just 25 percent shooting in the final period.
- Pepperdine cut its 11-point deficit to just four points with a 7-0 spurt in the third, but Claire Ferguson's big defensive block and jump shot on the offensive end helped push the Gaels' lead back to 52-44. But the lead didn't last for long as Saint Mary's struggled in the third quarter, shooting 27.8 percent. Pepperdine scored a quick five points to pull within three. Madeline Holland capped the quarter with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer that made the score 56-50 to end the third.
- McKay opened up the second quarter with a jumper followed by Emily Codding's shot from beyond the arc to extend the Gaels' lead to 25-17. After a jump shot from Pepperdine Peyton Langston, Saint Mary's took over offensively and grew its lead to 33-22 with five minutes left in the first half. McKay already had 19 of her 28 points in the first half on 9-for-12 shooting.
- Pepperdine made the first basket of the game, but Saint Mary's would go on a 16-3 run to take a double-digit, 16-5 lead in the first quarter. McKay, Beck and Raggio scored all of the Gaels' first 14 points. SMC's tough defense held the Waves to just one field goal for more than six minutes during its run.
3: Three Gaels scored in double-digit points. McKay (28), Raggio (17) and Beck (12).
6: Sydney Raggio notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. It was her seventh double-double of the season.
20: Saint Mary's dished out 20 assists compared to Pepperdine's 10. Jasmine Forcadilla had a game-high seven helpers, while Raggio (4), Holland (3), Beck (3) and Ferguson (2) all had multiple assists.
28: McKay led all-players with 28 points. She set a new career high with 28 points after scoring 27 at Boise State on Nov. 30.
50: Saint Mary's scored 50 of its points in the paint over Pepperdine's 18.
Head Coach Paul Thomas Quotes
- "Pepperdine has some skilled players. They can score the ball and they are an athletic team. They're solid and playing them at Pepperdine is going to be difficult. We knew coming in that they are a talented group."
- "I think two things are involved (with the game plan working). One, the passing was on time and on target. Two, I believe Megan, Sydney, and Claire were doing a better job of getting into position. I thought our team had great energy coming out to start the game, and you could tell that this was a meaningful performance. We needed to perform at a high level, and I am happy and proud that they did that today."
- "Only eight turnovers, it's probably a program low in a long time. Obviously when you don't turn the ball over, you don't give the other team as many second-chance points or other opportunities. We did a good job of defensive rebounding not to give them second chance points. I think, overall, that's a pretty good game for a Saturday afternoon."
- "We definitely have put ourselves in the right position. We constantly talk about that as a program. Just put yourself in a position to win the league. Same thing we do on the floor, put yourself in a good position defensively and put yourself in a good position offensively, and we tie that all together. I won't need to say anything to the team because they know Thursday is a big game. Whatever happens, we are not even halfway through, but we definitely know that us winning or them winning puts Thursday's game at a premium."
- "Coming out strong, I think we used our size. Claire played really well, so did Sydney, and that was one of our big advantages. Our height and our length were helpful and definitely set the tone. We had eight turnovers, so we can only get better now."
- I'm excited (for Thursday's game versus Gonzaga). We love playing Gonzaga, especially at home. It's a great opportunity for a good win. Hopefully we will have a good crowd and a good turn-out. It will be great.
- "Pepperdine is a great team, but they are on the smaller side. The rebounds weren't too hard to get (for a double-double). For the points, Megan opened up a lot of space when they doubled down on her, which gave me more opportunities to be open to get to the rim."
- "We're very excited (about facing Gonzaga). That's always a fun game and always a close one. Last two years it has been close for me, so hopefully we will win by a lot. We'll see what happens."
- Saint Mary's will take on rival and first-place Gonzaga at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at McKeon Pavilion. 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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