WBK | Gaels Hit The Road To The Rockies
The Saint Mary's women's basketball team faces two Mountain opponents this week in Boise State and Utah
MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team is on the road this week ready to face 2016-17 NCAA qualifier Boise State and Pac-12 opponent Utah on Thursday and Saturday.
SCHEDULE Nov. 30, 6 p.m. PST – Saint Mary’s (4-1) at Boise State (2-2) Dec. 2, 1:30 p.m. PST – Saint Mary’s at Utah (5-1)
LAST TIME OUT Saint Mary’s (4-1) clinched the 2017 Hilton Concord Classic title Saturday with an 88-82 victory over Indiana. SMC shot 57.4 percent against the Hoosiers, its second straight game shooting over 50 percent and third this season. Five Gaels scored in double figures, led by Stella Beck’s season-high-matching 22 points. Sydney Raggio scored 17 and freshman Madeline Holland hit five of six 3s for 15 points. Jasmine Forcadilla chipped in 11. Seven Gaels had at least two rebounds each, and five Gaels dished at least three assists.
The trio of Stella Beck, Megan McKay and Sydney Raggio has been doing the bulk of the scoring for Saint Mary’s. All three players have 20-point games this season, and McKay and Raggio have combined for three double-doubles. Saint Mary’s is shooting 40.3 percent from 3-point range through its first five games thanks to hot hands from Madeline Holland (52.9 percent), Beck (40.0 percent) and Jasmine Forcadilla (35.3 percent). The Gaels have handled the ball better in the early season, posting a 1.1 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Four Gaels already have double-digit assists through five games.
ABOUT BOISE STATE The Broncos (2-2) beat NAIA member Corbin, 94-50, Sunday at Taco Bell Arena, keeping the Broncos undefeated at home. Boise State’s two wins this season are both over NAIA teams, while it is 0-2 versus NCAA Division I programs (San Diego, Northern Arizona). Saint Mary’s fell to Boise, 83-78, during the 2016-17 Hilton Concord Classic at McKeon Pavilion.
Marta Hermida averages a team-high 13.3 points, 5.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game. Hermida recorded a triple-double against Corbin, finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Marijke Vanderschaaf averages 11.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg while tying for the team lead with six steals. Riley Lupfer has hit a team-high nine 3-pointers and shoots 36.0 percent from deep. Boise State has averaged 7.3 steals per game as a team, forcing opponents into 18 turnovers per contest.
ABOUT UTAH The Utes (5-1) most recently beat UT Arlington, 71-41, on Monday. The Utes forced 19 turnovers and limited the Mavericks to 32 percent shooting from the floor. Utah is 4-0 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center and, like the Gaels, are currently on a four-game winning streak.
Utah has outscored its opponents by an average of 25.0 points per game this season. It has held opponents to just 35.1 percent shooting and just 28.0 rpg. Megan Huff averages a team-best 14.2 ppg while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from the foul line. Huff has 42 rebounds and nine blocks. Emily Potter is right behind her at 13.2 ppg while leading Utah with 8.7 rpg and 10 blocks. Potter recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds Monday against the Mavericks. Erika Bean is the Utes’ ball distributor with a team-high 31 assists (5.2 per game).
BIG WEEK FOR BECK Senior guard Stella Beck was named the Hilton Concord Classic Most Valuable Player after she averaged 20.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game to help lead Saint Mary's to two wins and the tournament title. She scored 18 points and had a career-high six steals on Friday in the Gaels' 30-point blowout of UC Santa Barbara. She also surpassed the 1,000 career points mark during the game. In Saturday's de-facto tournament championship game against Indiana, Beck matched a season high with 22 points and also grabbed seven rebounds while dishing four assists and blocking two shots. Beck went a perfect 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the game's final 20 seconds to help the Gaels secure the victory over the Hoosiers.
Saint Mary’s will return home next week to face Big West opponent UC Davis on Dec. 9 at McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels will hit the road again later in December for the Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. from Dec. 17-20, facing UT Martin, Eastern Washington, and Big Ten Conference member Purdue.
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