WBK | Gaels Take Down Toreros
The saint mary's women's basketball team's dominating offense helped lead them to its victory over San Diego
MORAGA, Calif. -- Contributions from all around on offense and another stout defensive performance Saturday carried the Saint Mary's women's basketball team to its second straight West Coast Conference victory and a season sweep of San Diego, beating the Toreros 66-57 at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- San Diego (12-11, 5-7 WCC) trailed by as much as 22 points in the third quarter, but it refused to go away. The Toreros made it interesting in the final minutes of the game as they went on 12-2 run that lasted over four minutes while holding Saint Mary's (15-8, 8-4 WCC) to nine points in the entire fourth quarter. The Toreros cut its 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to nine points, 63-54, with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the game, but the Gaels held on for the victory.
- The Gaels opened the second half with a 20-6 run that put their lead at 20, 53-33. SMC made six of its first seven shots in the third quarter while keeping the Toreros in a scoring drought for half of the period. Madeline Holland knocked down two 3-pointers that put the Gaels back up by 10 points after SMC only led by six at halftime. Four Gaels already had double-digit points heading into the fourth.
- Saint Mary's started out strong in the first quarter and jumped to an early 14-4 lead led by McKay, Beck and Holland. SMC shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first quarter as all five Gaels scored at least a point that took a 24-14 lead.
- San Diego started the second quarter knocking down two 3-pointers that cut its 10-point deficit to six points at the 6:45 mark. The Gaels scored nine points in the second quarter all led by McKay, Raggio and Holland. San Diego kept Saint Mary's in a scoring drought for over two minutes in the second half as they finished two layups and a free-throw that made it a three-point game at 3:05 minute mark.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 4: Madeline Holland poured in four 3-pointers while averaging 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. It was her second-most 3-pointers in a game this season after making five on Nov. 25 versus Indiana.
- 20: Megan McKay scored a game-high 20 points and posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. Three other Gaels also scored in double-digit points: Beck (15), Raggio (12) and Holland (12).
- 31: The Gaels outrebounded the Toreros 31-24 and took control on the defensive glass, grabbing 25 boards over the Toreros' 14.
- 38: 38 of Saint Mary's points were in the paint. Three Gaels shot at least 60.0 percent or better from the field. Beck shot 71.4 percent (5 for 7), McKay 66.6 (8 for 12) and Raggio 60.0 (6 for 10).
- 55.8: Saint Mary's shot 55.8 percent from the field. It was its second straight game shooting over 50.0 percent and third in the last five.
Head Coach Paul Thomas
- "We had a great first quarter and a great third quarter. We came out with lots of energy, intensity, and enthusiasm, and it reflected both offensively and defensively. We did a good job holding them to 14 points in the first quarter and 11 points in the second quarter. That was the key. The problem with the second and the fourth quarter is that we lost our rhythm a little bit and turned the ball over. We got back into our turnover funk again. I do think we shot a good percentage from the field, and I was pleased with our shot selection."
- "We wanted to get the ball inside, and every time we made a conscious effort to punch it in there, with either a pass or a drive, we were successful. I think just a combination of understanding the game plan and executing got us going."
- "There's the great taste of winning this weekend. You go 2-0, and you think back just seven days ago when we had such a bad taste in our mouths because we took two bad losses. On Monday, we will get right to work on LMU and try to get better. All it takes is for us to remain focused on what we need to do."
Forward Megan McKay
- "Defense was a key. We had a defensive limit every quarter, and we stayed to it for the first three and let it slip towards the end. Defensive box-outs was another big one. They crushed the boards hard, so we knew we could get some fouls called for that. Defensive focus was definitely huge."
- "This game prepares us really well for LMU. We have a lot of momentum now coming off two hard losses, and we are fired up to beat them. It should be a good game with lots of energy."
Forward Madeline Holland
- "Today's game was a great team effort. Everyone contributed and did their job. The big thing for us was playing defense really well, and we stepped up there."
- "My teammates always encourage me to keep shooting, same with the coaches. It is all for them, and when they keep on telling me to do it, I want to contribute in any way I can."
- "We are very excited for Thursday's game. Coaches are fired up, and we are fired up. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
- Saint Mary's will take on Loyola Marymount at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday before heading on the road to WCC leader Gonzaga on Saturday. Tickets are available for purchase on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx. Fans can find live coverage links for all games on SMCGaels.com.
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