WBK | 2017-18 Season Countdown: #8
SMCGaels.com counts down the days to the opening of the 2017-18 season with a look at the Gaels' streak of eight postseason appearances
SMCGaels.com counts down to Opening Day of the 2017-18 Women’s Basketball Season on Nov. 10 with a recap of each of the last eight consecutive postseason trips for SMC to prepare fans for another year of Gaels basketball
MORAGA, Calif. — The postseason has become a regular occurrence for the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team over the past decade. SMCGaels.com’s countdown to the 2017-18 season continues with a look at the Gaels’ streak of eight straight postseason trips:
1. 2009-10 Season – WNIT First Round (21-10)
The Gaels started their postseason streak in 2009-10. It was a breakout season as the Gaels finished with their first over-.500 record in five years and their first 20-win campaign in nine years. Saint Mary’s returned to the postseason for the first time since 2001-02 by qualifying for the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. They hosted Utah in the first round of the WNIT, falling 66-53 at McKeon Pavilion.
2. 2010-11 Season – WNIT First Round (19-13)
Saint Mary’s made it back-to-back trips to the WNIT in 2010-11 with another successful regular season campaign. SMC placed two players on the all-West Coast Conference first team that year for the second straight time. The Gaels hosted the WNIT First Round again, this time welcoming Nevada to McKeon Pavilion, who narrowly escaped with a 65-62 victory.
3. 2011-12 Season – WNIT Second Round (22-11)
The Gaels posted their second 20-win campaign in three years in 2011-12, earning the right to host the first round of the WNIT for the third straight year. This time the Gaels had experience, and after getting beat by double digits the first time, then being narrowly defeated the second time, Saint Mary’s earned a first round, 71-63, victory over UNLV at McKeon Pavilion. Jackie Nared led the Gaels with 22 points in the win. Saint Mary’s headed to Corvallis, Ore., for a second-round matchup at Oregon State, falling 56-41.
4. 2012-13 Season – WNIT Quarterfinals (23-11)
Saint Mary’s made its deepest-ever run in a postseason tournament in 2012-13. A 20-win regular season allowed the Gaels to host the WNIT First Round for the fourth straight year. Saint Mary’s beat Seattle University handily to start its run in the bracket, 68-51. SMC then had to hit the road for the next two rounds, where it upended Big Sky Conference runner-up Northern Colorado, 68-58, in round two. The third round brought a familiar foe in BYU, with whom the Gaels split the season series. But SMC grabbed the advantage with a 59-55 win in Provo, Utah, to advance to the WNIT Quarterfinals. There, it was a rematch of where the postseason streak started – in Moraga versus Utah. The Utes came from behind in the second half to edge Saint Mary’s, 58-55, en route to the WNIT championship game.
5. 2013-14 Season – WNIT Second Round (23-10)
A 12-1 start in 2013-14 got the Gaels rolling to their fifth straight postseason appearance and fifth straight WNIT First Round home game. The Gaels hosted CSU Bakersfield and cruised past the Roadrunners, 75-68. Nared again led the Gaels in the first round with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Danielle Mauldin also had a double-double in that game with 10 points and 12 rebounds. The second round brought a long road trip to El Paso, Texas, where UTEP stopped the Gaels, 76-64.
6. 2014-15 Season – WNIT Quarterfinals (23-11)
Saint Mary’s matched its WNIT Quarterfinals run from two years prior in 2014-15, hosting the first two rounds before heading out on the road and winning there as well. A thrilling, 92-88, overtime win over Hawaii kicked off the tournament as the Gaels hosted the first round for the sixth straight year. They earned the right to host the second round for the first time, where they blew past Fresno State, 83-64. A short road trip to Big Sky Conference runner-up Sacramento State resulted in a 77-69 victory and a matchup versus UCLA in the Quarterfinals. There, the eventual tournament champion Bruins held off the Gaels, 82-66.
7. 2015-16 Season – WNIT First Round (24-8)
2015-16 was a record-setting year for the Gaels. The team won 24 games – the second-most in program history – and scored a program-record 2,388 points. And for the seventh straight year, the Gaels earned the right to host a first-round WNIT game. Eastern Michigan was the foe, and the Eagles barely scooted past Saint Mary’s, 74-73, after scoring the winning basket off an offensive rebound with 1.8 seconds remaining. Devyn Galland led all players with 25 points in the game. Sydney Raggio had 19 points and 12 rebounds with six assists and four blocks.
8. 2016-17 Season – WNIT First Round (20-13)
For the first time during the streak, the Gaels had to hit the road in the first round of the WNIT. The Gaels carried momentum into the tournament after making their first run to the WCC Tournament championship game for the first time in six years. SMC headed to Fort Collins, Colo., to take on the Mountain West Conference champions Colorado State. It took a late fourth-quarter charge by the Rams and overtime, but they were able to down the Gaels, 80-68. Carly Turner led the Gaels with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Sydney Raggio had a double-double in the game with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
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