Jan. 18, 2007
(Moraga, CA) - USF built an early lead but could not sustain it, dropping a 84-77 decision at Saint Mary's in West Coast Conference action Thursday night at McKeon Pavilion. A season-high five reached double-digit scoring for the Dons (7-12, 1-3 WCC), but the Gaels (8-9, 2-2 WCC) scored 50 points in the second half to take their fourth straight win against their Bay Area rivals.
Junior guard Dominique Carter poured in a game-high 23 points off the bench, converting on 9-of-16 from the field to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Shay Rollins matched a career-high with 18 points, connecting on 8-of-17 from the floor. Senior forward Nickie Warren scored 10 points and pulled down eight boards before fouling out in 25 minutes, while freshman guard Heidi Heintz and junior center Lisa Olden each chipped in 10 points.
San Francisco started strong, jumping out to a 11-2 lead. The Gaels battled back and tied the contest at 23-23 with 7:03 remaining, courtesy of a 21-12 run. USF built a four-point lead, 31-27 on a Heintz jumper with 3:33 left, but Saint Mary's used a 7-3 burst to close to within one point at the intermission, 35-34. The Dons shot at a .519 (14-27) pace in the first half and limited the Gaels to a .361 (13-36) clip. USF struggled to take care of the basketball, committing 12 turnovers. Carter led the way with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Saint Mary's took a 36-35 lead with 19:42 in the early going of the second half and would not trail the remainder of the contest. The Gaels led by as many as 13 points, 63-50 with 11:19 remaining. Saint Mary's outscored USF 50-42 in the second half and scored 29 points off USF's 22 turnovers in the game.
USF lost the battle of the boards 46-38 and the Gaels dominated on the offensive glass 24-13, leading to 26 second chance points. San Francisco shot well from the floor at .508 (31-61) and held Saint Mary's to a .395 (30-76) percentage.
Serena Benavente scored a team-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists for Saint Mary's. Sheridan Arredondo added 20 points and pulled down seven boards.
USF returns to action when it travels south down Highway 101 for a Saturday evening contest at ancient Bay Area rival Santa Clara. Tip-off against the Broncos is set for 7:00 PM at the Leavey Center.