WBK | Gaels Back In Bay Area For Big Games
The Saint Mary's women's basketball team returns to the Bay Area this week for important games that have WCC standings implications
MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's basketball team will take a trip across the Bay Thursday to take on rival San Francisco, then returns home Saturday for the start of a five-game stretch that includes four home contests, beginning with Saturday's game versus San Diego.
Thursday, Feb 1, 7 p.m. - Saint Mary's (13-8, 6-4 WCC) at San Francisco (10-11, 5-5 WCC)
Saturday, Feb 3, 2 p.m. - San Diego (12-9, 5-5 WCC) at Saint Mary's
LAST TIME OUT
The Gaels went on an important road trip last week that featured a second-place showdown at BYU and their first matchup versus Portland, but it was BYU who secured a 63-54 victory on Thursday. SMC then fell to last-place Portland by three points, 68-65, on Saturday. The Pilots snapped the Gaels' 17-game winning streak in the series. Sydney Raggio scored her 1,000th career point against Portland as she poured in 20 points. Raggio scored a team-high 12 points to go with eight rebounds at BYU.
ABOUT SAINT MARY'S
The Gaels (13-8, 6-4 WCC) fell to BYU and Portland on the road, moving their WCC record to 6-4, tying for third place in the conference standings with LMU. This week features another first meeting of the season with San Francisco on Thursday. SMC dominated San Diego, 75-53, on the road on Jan. 6. Saint Mary's is 3-6 on the road and 8-2 at home.
Saint Mary's continues to lead the conference with a 46.9 field goal percentage. The trio of Stella Beck, Megan McKay and Raggio holds the best shooting percentages in the conference. Beck leads at 59.5 percent, McKay is right behind Beck averaging 58.9 and Raggio shoots at a 54.1 percent clip. All three players score in double-figures for the Gaels (McKay 14.8, Raggio 14.4, Beck 14.0). Beck shoots a team-best 71.0 free-throw percentage and has 30 steals. Raggio leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game and is second in the conference grabbing 6.0 defensive rpg right behind Thursday's opponent Michaela Rakova of USF who pulls down 7.0. Madeline Holland leads the conference and the team with a 45.6 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO
The Dons (10-11, 5-5 WCC) beat the conference's top scoring offense, Pacific, 81-71, and fell to undefeated Gonzaga, 81-57, in last week's matchups. The Gaels beat the Dons in a two-point game, 64-62, in San Francisco in the 2016-17 season. The Dons are 6-4 at home.
San Francisco leads the conference in rebounding offense (41.6), defensive rebounds (28.9) and 3-point field goals made per game (6.6). Three players average double-digit points: Anna Seilund averages 15.4 ppg, Michaela Ravoka averages 12.9 ppg and Shannon Powell scores 10.1 ppg. Seilund leads the WCC with a 84.5 free-throw percentage and dishes out a team-best 4.8 assists - third in the WCC. Ravoka pulls down a team-high 9.4 rpg including 7.0 defensive rpg - first in the WCC.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO
The Toreros (12-9, 5-5 WCC) fell to Santa Clara, 59-50, and LMU, 67-53, in last week's competition. San Diego was on a three-game winning streak before its loss to Santa Clara, beating LMU, Portland and BYU. The Toreros will take on Gonzaga Thursday before heading to McKeon Pavilion. San Diego is 4-6 on the road.
Aubrey Ward-El averages a team-high 14.6 ppg and controls the Toreros' offense while dishing out 3.0 apg. Ward-El shoots 81.2 from the foul-line - third in WCC play. Maya Hood is the team's best defender as she leads with 7.1 rpg and is first in the WCC in offensive rebounds grabbing 3.3 per game. Hood leads the team with 46 steals - 3rd in the WCC - and averages 12.2 ppg. Sydney Williams averages 10.2 ppg.
PLAY4KAY PINK GAME SATURDAY
The Gaels will host their annual #Play4Kay Pink Game on Saturday versus San Diego, with the intent of raising awareness and support for women's cancers. Tickets to Saturday's game are just $5 at the door for any fans wearing pink. Saint Mary's staff, faculty and students are free with ID. The Gaels will also be selling raffle tickets for $2, with the proceeds going directly to Bay Area Young Survivors. Fans can also donate online to the Play4Kay cause at the Kay Yow Cancer Fund online at KayYow.com.
Saint Mary's will take on Loyola Marymount on Feb. 8 at McKeon Pavilion before heading to Spokane on Feb. 10 to face WCC leader Gonzaga. 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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