WBK | Gaels Embark On Another Important Week
The West Coast Conference schedule is winding down, and the Saint Mary's women's basketball team has important games ahead for tournament positioning
Thursday, Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. - Loyola Marymount (15-8, 7-5 WCC) at Saint Mary’s (15-8, 8-4 WCC)
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. - Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga (19-3, 12-0 WCC)
LAST TIME OUT
The Gaels dominated in two WCC games last week versus San Francisco and San Diego. Eight players scored points from Saint Mary’s on Thursday, led by Stella Beck’s 19, in a 73-59 victory over USF. Megan McKay finished with 16 points and Jasmine Forcadilla had 13. Sydney Raggio grabbed a game-high 12 boards. McKay took over Saturday’s contest versus San Diego when she scored a game-high 20 points and posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. Madeline Holland poured down four 3-pointers while shooting 57.1 percent from the perimeter in the Gaels’ 66-57 win over USD.
ABOUT SAINT MARY’S
The Gaels (15-8, 8-4 WCC) got back on the winning track last week after beating USF and USD, moving their record to 9-2 at home and 4-6 on the road. Saint Mary’s will compete in two important matchups this week, facing LMU and Gonzaga. SMC fell to LMU, 69-57, in its WCC opener and Gonzaga, 73-65, in their first meeting on Jan. 18.
Saint Mary’s leads the conference with a 47.4 field goal percentage ahead Saturday’s opponent Gonzaga (44.3). Beck leads the conference with a 61.1 field goal percentage followed by McKay’s 59.5 and Raggio’s 54.0. McKay averages a team-best 15.1 points per game while grabbing 6.7 boards. Beck averages 14.3 ppg and controls the Gaels’ defense with 34 steals. Raggio grabs a team-high 8.7 rpg and averages 14.0 ppg. The Gaels are WCC leaders in rebounding defense, holding opponents to 30.2 rebounds per game. Madeline Holland shoots 46.2 percent from beyond the arc -- first in the WCC. Jasmine Forcadilla dishes out a team-best 3.5 assists per game.
ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
The Lions (15-8, 7-5 WCC) went 1-1 last week after falling to BYU, 62-52, on the road and dominating Portland 76-55 at home. After Thursday night’s matchup the Lions will travel back down to Southern California to face Pepperdine. LMU is 6-4 on the road.
The Lions lead the conference in rebounding offense (41.2) and are second in the conference in blocked shots (4.2) and assists (16.2) per game. Bree Alford is LMU’s top rebounder as she grabs 9.0 rpg - 2nd in the WCC. Alford averages 7.9 ppg. Two players average double-digit points: Cheyanne Wallace averages a team-high 14.8 ppg and Gabby Green averages 13.0. Green leads the Lions with 66 steals - first in the WCC - and dishes out a team-best 4.5 apg. Makenzie Cast leads the conference averaging 2.3 3-point fg made per game.
The Bulldogs (19-3, 12-0 WCC) took down both of its conference opponents San Diego and BYU by double-digit points last week. Gonzaga will face the conference’s leading scoring offense, Pacific, on Thursday. The Bulldogs are 9-1 at home, its only loss coming against UNLV in a two-point game, 52-50, on Dec. 9.
The Bulldogs have three players that score in double-figures. Jill Barta averages 18.5 ppg - second in the WCC. Zykera Rice averages 13.2 ppg and Chandler Smith 10.6. Barta is second in the conference shooting 84.2 percent from the free-throw line. Barta is more than just a leading scorer for the Bulldogs, as she grabs a team-best 8.5 rpg and is third in the conference in defensive rebounds (6.0 per game). Guard Jessie Loera leads the team dishing out 3.9 apg. Gonzaga leads the conference in steals per game (10.0).
Saint Mary’s will return home next week for its final two home games of the regular season versus San Francisco and Portland before concluding conference play on the road at Pepperdine and Santa Clara, respectively.
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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