WBK | Powerful Offense Pushes Gaels Past Pacific
The saint mary's women's basketball team's offensive prowess dominated over Pacific in a high scoring game
MORAGA, Calif. -- Numbers abounded Saturday in an impressive offensive performance by the Saint Mary's women's basketball team, as the Gaels dominated a high-scoring game versus Pacific, shooting 64.8 percent from the field with Stella Beck scoring a career-high 31 points to win 96-88 in a West Coast Conference game at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary's (13-6, 6-2 WCC) jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead early, led by four different Gaels. Pacific (9-10, 3-5 WCC) cut its 11-point deficit to four points with its own 9-2 spurt that made it 15-11. Minutes later, GeAnna Luaulu-Summers scored back-to-back layups and tacked on a free throw to tie the game at 18-18. With just one second left on the clock in the first, Luaulu-Summers hit a buzzer-beater 3-point shot that kept Pacific close at 27-26 to end the period.
- The Gaels never trailed in the game despite Pacific's furious first-quarter comeback. Saint Mary's went on a 15-2 run to start the second quarter powered by 3-point shots from Jasmine Forcadilla, Emily Codding and Stella Beck that put the Gaels' lead back up to double-digits, 42-28.
- The Gaels shot 76.9 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. Katie Rathbun came off the bench in the second quarter and hit two 3-point shots to give the Gaels a 16-point lead. Stella Beck had a team-high 17 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting performance before the break.
- Saint Mary's continued to dominate while opening the second half as Megan McKay poured in six points and Beck hit a trey that took the Gaels' lead back to 16. Tyra Moe set a new career high of six points and matched her season-high four rebounds with 4:43 left in the third quarter.
- Pacific's leading scorer Luaulu-Summers hit back-to-back treys for Pacific with under three minutes left in the third period to spur a 12-4 run that cut the Gaels' lead to eight. But Claire Ferguson made two free throws and Sydney Raggo's drive to the basket extended Saint Mary's lead back to double-digits heading into the final quarter.
- After the Tigers were down by 14 in the fourth quarter, Pacific's field goals kept Saint Mary's on its toes as the Tigers were 4 for 5 coming out of the gate in the last period. The Gaels led by nine, 85-76, at the 5:38 mark, but after a timeout, Raggio finished a fade away jump shot and Stella Beck finished an and-one play that pushed her game total to 29, giving her a career high before hitting two late free throws to finish with 31.
3: Three Gaels set new career highs in points Saturday. Stella Beck set a new career high of 31 points. Katie Rathbun hit a career-best three 3-pointers for a career high nine points. And Tyra Moe scored six points after reaching four points on four occasions in her career.
9: The Gaels made a total of nine 3-pointers. Rathbun led the team with three treys, Beck and Madeline Holland chipped in two, and Codding and Forcadilla had one apiece. The last time Saint Mary's had nine 3-pointers and shot above 50.0 percent was during the Hilton Concord Classic versus Indiana on Nov. 25.
31: Beck's career high of 31 points marked the first time a Saint Mary's player had scored at least 30 points in a game since Shannon Mauldin scored 32 versus Hawaii in the 2015 WNIT on March 20, 2015.
64.8: SMC shot 64.8 percent from the field and was just one-tenth of a percent away from breaking a school record of 64.9 percent, shot versus Pepperdine on Jan. 29, 1993.
96: The Gaels finished with 96 points in the game. It was the most points they had scored since the 2014-15 season when they beat Sacramento State, 99-91, on Nov. 24, 2014.
POST GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Thomas
"I thought our energy, effort, and our intensity was really good. We came out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, which helped. You can be down and disappointed about the loss on Thursday and our team responded with a good practice yesterday. I was happy with the way we started and we did a solid job of finishing."
"Good video and practice on Monday and have just a normal week (to continue the momentum). Our team likes being on the road, so it's not a big thing since our team enjoys it."
Guard Katie Rathbun
"After coming off a loss on Thursday, this was a big game for us. We just came out with a lot of energy today and tried to stop their players."
"My teammates give me the ball at the 3-point line. I set up and they do their thing and find me in the corner."
Guard Stella Beck
"Today's game went really well and was a high-scoring game with good effort all around. We executed really well and it was a fast-paced game, so we had to push the ball and play good transition defense since they were a fast team. We started the game really well which set the tone for the rest of the game."
"On defense, it was important that we got the rebound and getting them to shoot bad shots or shots that they were uncomfortable with and then securing the rebound to get back on the other end and execute what we know how to do. Defensively we could've done better, but we executed well throughout."
Saint Mary's will hit the road next week to take on BYU, Portland and San Francisco on Thursday, Saturday and Feb. 1, respectively. The Gaels' game at BYU tips off at 6 p.m. PST. Fans can find all live coverage links on SMCGaels.com.
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