WBK | 2017-18 Season Countdown: #1
SMCGaels.com's countdown to the 2017-18 season continues with a preview of the season opener with just one day left
MORAGA, Calif. -- Gearing up for another successful season, the Saint Mary's women's basketball team will begin the 2017-18 campaign on Friday at East Bay rival and nationally ranked No. 20/25 California at Haas Pavilion. The Gaels then return home Sunday for their home-opener against Pac-12 Conference member Washington State.
Nov. 10, 5 p.m. - Saint Mary's (0-0) at California (0-0)
Nov. 12, 1 p.m. - Washington State (0-0) vs. Saint Mary's (0-0)
Saint Mary's women's basketball tickets are on sale now! Season, single game and group tickets are available for purchase. Get your tickets by visiting SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
ABOUT SAINT MARY'S
Saint Mary's received two first-place votes while being predicted to finish second in the 2017-18 WCC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gaels (20-13, 13-5 WCC in 2016-17) received 72 points in the poll, just seven points down from defending champion Gonzaga. SMC will start the season with nine returning letterwinners and four newcomers, including Stella Beck and Sydney Raggio, both named to the Preseason All-WCC team.
Beck was the leader for the Gaels last year scoring 13.0 points, grabbing 5.3 rebounds and dishing 3.2 assists per game while shooting 54.6 percent from the field. Sydney Raggio had 17 double-figure scoring games with four double-doubles and was the Gaels leading blocker with 28. She averaged 10.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
ABOUT No. 20/25 CALIFORNIA
Cal has 10 returners including three top players: Asha Thomas, who led the Bears in 3-point field goal percentage shooting 38.2 percent, Mikayla Cowling, who was All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention a year ago, and Kristine Anigwe, who was the 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a two-time WBCA All-American Honorable Mention. Anigwe finished last season with 16 double-doubles, leading the team in rebounding (9.3 per game) while shooting 56.6 from the field and recording 2.1 blocked shots per game.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State was 16-20 overall and 6-12 in the Pac-12. The Cougars were 5-11 on the road last season. They advanced to the semifinals in the WNIT but fell to Georgia Tech, 69-61. WSU has 12 returners including Chanelle Molina and Caila Hailey who received All-Pac-12 honors. Molina was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshmen Team and Hailey was selected to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.
Saint Mary's opens the season for the second year in a row against California. The Gaels fell to the Bears in 2016-17 season, 74-67, at McKeon Pavilion. Carly Turner scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The Gaels had two more players score in double figures, with Sydney Raggio pouring in 13 and Stella Beck scoring 11. Saint Mary's outrebounded the Bears 34-33. Thomas scored a team-high for the Bears with 19 points and five 3-pointers. Anigwe tallied 11 points with six rebounds.
Saint Mary's plays its home-opener at 1 p.m. Sunday in McKeon Pavilion against Pac-12 Conference member Washington State, kicking off a four-game homestand that will stretch through Thanksgiving weekend.
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