WBK | Beck, Gaels Cruise Past Dons
Saint Mary's led for over 30 minutes and never trailed after the first quarter in Thursday's 72-64 win over USF.
MORAGA, Calif. -- In a matchup between two of the top four teams in the West Coast Conference Thursday, the Saint Mary's women's basketball team overcame a slow start to beat rival San Francisco, 72-64, at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Stella Beck guided Saint Mary's (17-9, 10-5 WCC) offense with her team-leading 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and also grabbed 11 boards for her second double-double this season. Sydney Raggio chipped in with 12 points of her own while nine different Gaels scored in the win.
- The Dons (13-13, 8-7 WCC) led early in the contest, jumping out to an 11-4 advantage less than three minutes in. Shannon Powell had nine of those points and was a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. But Saint Mary's responded in a big way, going on an 18-2 run to finish the quarter while holding the Dons to just 1-for-13 shooting during the stretch.
- The Gaels would never trail again after their big run. Saint Mary's pushed its lead to as big as 16 during the third quarter and led by at least seven points for the entirety of the second half.
- The Gaels dominated down low Thursday, outrebounding the Dons 51-29 and scoring 44 of their points in the paint. SMC shot 47.9 percent on two-point attempts during the game and 43.8 percent overall.
- The Saint Mary's defense held strong against the Dons' contrasting perimeter offense which took 20 3-pointers in the first half and 29 in the game. USF shot only 27.6 percent from 3-point land and just 35.8 percent from the field overall. SMC also recorded four blocks and five steals while forcing 12 turnovers.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 4: The Gaels have won their last four matchups against USF and 11 of the last 13 meetings.
- 9: Nine of the 10 Gaels who played in the game scored at least two points. Saint Mary's bench combined for 14 total points.
- 10: Megan McKay grabbed 10 rebounds in the win which represented her fourth straight game with double-digit boards.
- 32: Saint Mary's led for over 32 minutes in the contest. There was only one lead change in the game that occured when the Gaels took the lead towards the end of the first quarter.
Head Coach Paul Thomas:
- "We took good shots, that's always the key. We are pretty efficient when we can get good shots off and get the ball moving from side to side and get it inside to either Megan [McKay] or Sydney [Raggio]."
- "Stella [Beck] is the Swiss army knife and has been for all four years. She does a little bit of everything and we need that from her. It is the intangible things, her leadership and the team hearing her voice and I think she did a great job of that tonight."
Guard Stella Beck:
- "Going into the game we thought that all our bigs - Megs [Megan McKay], Syd [Sydney Raggio] Claire [Ferguson], Tyra [Moe], that everyone should dominate in the post, so we looked to go inside for sure."
- "We can't start the way the way started, going down seven points, bring it back up to being up 16, having it back at eight, going back to 12 and then having it back at seven. We have to be able to consistently perform."
UP NEXT: SENIOR DAY
- Saint Mary's will host Portland at 2 p.m. Saturday for its final home game of the season. The Gaels will honor their Beck, their lone senior this season, as well as three male practice players, before the game as part of Senior Day festivities.
- Tickets are available for purchase at 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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