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WBK | 2017-18 Season Countdown: #6

Saint Mary's women's basketball head coach Paul Thomas has guided the Gaels to six straight 20-win seasons since 2011-12
Nov. 4, 2017 counts down to Opening Day of the 2017-18 Women’s Basketball Season on Nov. 10 with a selection of 10 stories in 10 days to prepare fans for another year of Gaels basketball

MORAGA, Calif. — 20 wins – a benchmark for success in college basketball – has been become something of the norm for the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team over the past six years.’s countdown to the 2017-18 season continues with a look at the Gaels’ impressive streak of six straight 20-win seasons:

1. 2011-12 Season: 22-11

The Gaels’ 20-win seasons streak started in 2011-12, a year after they had won 19 games in 2010-11, and two years after they had posted a 21-10 campaign in 2009-10. Saint Mary’s held a 22-11 overall record and 11-5 in West Coast Conference play in ’11-’12. SMC faced four “Power 5” schools in Virginia Tech, California, Oregon State, and Oregon. The Gaels defeated Pac-12 teams Oregon and Oregon State back-to-back by 10 points each in the midst of what was a season-long seven-game winning streak. The Gaels qualified for the Women’s National Invitational Tournament where they would fall in the second round with a rematch at Oregon State.

2. 2012-13 Season: 23-11

Saint Mary’s was 23-11 and 11-5 in the WCC in 2012-13. The Gaels faced five big-name basketball schools in Washington, Butler, UCLA, Oregon and California. SMC defeated Oregon for the second straight year, 78-69, and Butler, 85-74. The Gaels out-rebounded the Ducks 56-42 while at least four Gaels had double-figure points against Butler. Saint Mary’s longest winning streak was a five-game stretch from the end of November into early December, in which it won five straight non-conference games. The Gaels would make a run all the way to the WNIT Quarterfinals in March.

3. 2013-14 Season: 23-10

SMC held an overall record of 23-10 and 11-7 in the WCC. The Gaels faced power-house Washington to open the season and returned the favor of a defeat the previous year with a 91-81 victory in Moraga. Former Gaels Jackie Nared, Danielle Mauldin and Kate Gaze all had career nights in the win. The opening-night triumph kicked off what would be a seven-game winning streak and a 12-1 start overall – the best in program history. The Gaels hosted the first round of the WNIT before falling at UTEP in the second round.

4. 2014-15 Season: 23-11

The Gaels were 23-11 overall and 13-5 in WCC play in 2014-15. Saint Mary’s went on a six-game winning streak after a season-opening defeat versus Boston College. The Gaels took down perennial Big-12 contender Iowa State and Pac-12 member Southern California during the streak. SMC also won nine of its first 11 WCC contests before making another deep run in the WNIT with its second Quarterfinals appearance in three years.

5. 2015-16 Season: 24-8

The 2015-16 season was a record-setting one for the Gaels. Their 24-8 overall record and 14-4 WCC mark were the second-most overall wins and most WCC wins in program history. The team also scored 2,388 points that year – the most-ever in team history. Saint Mary’s won at least five games in a row on four different occasions during the year. The season’s longest – a month-long eight-game stretch spanning all of January into February – included two wins over annual WCC competitor San Diego and a one-point road victory at rival Gonzaga. The Gaels once again qualified for the WNIT, falling to Eastern Michigan at home in the first round.

6. 2016-17 Season: 20-13

Saint Mary’s was 20-13 overall and 13-5 in the WCC. Another loaded SMC scheduled featured Pac-12 opponents California, Washington State, and Utah, as well as eventual NCAA Tournament qualifier Boise State and Boston College. A seven-game winning streak during WCC play helped buoy the Gaels’ season and lift them to their second-straight runner-up finish in the standings. The Gaels would win five straight – including two wins over BYU – en route to the WCC Tournament championship game, their first appearance in six years. The season concluded with SMC’s eighth straight trip to the WNIT, where it would fall in overtime on the road at Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State.



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