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Women's Basketball Falls In Home Finale 76-61

Feb. 24, 2007

Box Score

Moraga, CA- The Saint Mary's women's basketball team's bid to secure the third seed for the West Coast Conference tournament fell short Saturday. The Gaels were upended by the LMU Lions 76-61 from McKeon Pavilion. After the loss, SMC falls to 14-13 overall and 8-6 in WCC play.

The Gaels raced out to an early lead but faltered the rest of the way as the Lions earned the key victory. LMU went into the locker with a 33-30 advantage.

After the break is when the Lions did their damage. LMU quickly increased its lead to 14 (48-34) with 15 minutes remaining in the half after Amanda Patton hit a three.

The Gaels got to within 11 but were unable to get over the hump as the Lions kept the double-digit lead.

The Lions were led by Patton and her 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including three treys. Valerie Ogoke tallied 13 points and nine rebounds while Ashlee Dunlap tallied a double-double with 13 points and 11rebounds.

The Gaels were paced by Benavente's 22 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Sophomore Jontelle Smith recorded 10 points and six rebounds. Maija Lahde tallied a team-high nine boards.

SMC shot 39 percent (21-of-54) from the floor, 27 percent (4-of-15) from three and 75 percent (15-of-20) from the line.

LMU shot 46 percent (31-for-67) from the floor, 33 percent (5-of-15) from three and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the charity stripe.

Seniors Eghosa Obaiza, Sheridan Arredondo and Victoria Ramirez played their last game from McKeon Pavilion.

Obaiza tallied six points and six rebounds while Arredondo tallied two points. Ramirez played six minutes with no points.

With the loss SMC becomes the fourth seed in the tournament and will face the Pepperdine Waves on Thursday from the Chiles Center in Portland, OR.

Official seeding for the WCC tournament will be announced Sunday. The tournament will be played from Thursday, March 1 to Sunday, March 4.