WBK | Gaels Host Final Non-Conference Home Tilt
The Saint Mary's women's basketball team welcomes undefeated UC Davis on Saturday
MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's basketball team returns home Saturday for its final non-conference home game of the season, hosting undefeated UC Davis for an afternoon tip before it travels to the Midwest for the Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational.
Dec. 9, 1 p.m. - Saint Mary's (5-2) vs. UC Davis (8-0)
Season, single-game and group tickets for all Saint Mary's basketball home games are available for purchase on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
LAST TIME OUT
Saint Mary's split a two-game road trip last week, winning at Boise State and falling to Utah. The Gaels erased a 14-point second-half deficit and came from 10 points down in the fourth quarter in Thursday's 74-72 win over the Broncos. Four Gaels finished with double-digit points, led by Megan McKay's career-high 27. Jasmine Forcadilla scored a career-best 14, Stella Beck added 13 and Sydney Raggio chipped in 10. Beck had a double-double with a career-high 10 assists. Raggio pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and notched her third double-double of the year. McKay's career-high marked her second 20-point game of the season.
The Gaels fell Saturday to Pac-12 member Utah, 74-63, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Turnovers troubled the team, resulting in a season-high 27 turnovers, 17 of which were via Utah steals. Two Gaels finished with double-digit points. McKay led the Gaels in scoring for the second straight game with 16 points and nine rebounds. Raggio scored 12, including a career-best two 3-pointers.
ABOUT SAINT MARY'S
The Gaels (5-2) saw their five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday at Utah. SMC earned its first road win of the season Thursday at Boise State. The Gaels are 4-0 at home this season, including sweeping through the 2017 Hilton Concord Classic over Thanksgiving Weekend. UC Davis escaped with a buzzer-beating, 68-66, victory on Dec. 11 last season in Davis.
McKay averages a team-best 16.7 points per game. Her 62.1 field goal percentage is best in the West Coast Conference and No. 18 in the country. Beck is right behind her at 15.7 ppg and has a team-best 31 assists and 13 steals. Raggio is the Gaels' third player averaging at least 15.0 ppg while also pulling down a team-high 8.4 rebounds per contest. McKay (1st), Beck (3rd, 58.1 percent) and Raggio (4th, 57.7 percent) give the Gaels three of the WCC's four best shooters.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
The Aggies (8-0) are off to one of their best starts in program history, standing as one of just 15 remaining unbeaten teams in the NCAA. UC Davis topped WCC member San Francisco, 72-55, on Wednesday. The Aggies are 3-0 so far this season against WCC schools, also taking down Pepperdine (69-64) and Pacific (90-58).
Morgan Bertsch is the Aggies' go-to player, averaging a team-high and Big West Conference-leading 22.0 ppg while shooting 61.9 percent from the field -- 20th in the NCAA. She is also third on the team with 5.1 rpg and has a team-best 11 blocks. UC Davis has two of the nation's best 3-point shooters in Dani Nafekh and Rachel Nagel. Nafekh shoots 51.6 percent, ranked No. 8 in the country. Nagel averages 14.3 ppg and is shooting 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The Gaels struggled to hold on to the ball last week, resulting 47 total turnovers and 48 points for the opponents in two road games. SMC committed a season-high 27 turnovers Saturday at Utah, 17 of which were Utah steals. Both totals were most since SMC had 27 turnovers at Loyola Marymount on Feb. 16 of last year on 19 Lions steals. Utah turned the Gaels' turnovers into a 28-11 advantage on points off turnovers. Saint Mary's had 17 turnovers Thursday at Boise State, with the Broncos scoring 20 points of them. SMC turned the ball over 15 times in the first half at BSU, including 11 times in the second quarter alone.
Saint Mary's will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete with UT Martin, Eastern Washington and host Purdue in the Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational on Dec. 17, 18 and 20. Live coverage links can be found on SMCGaels.com.
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