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Women's Basketball Grabs Barnburner In McKeon

Nov. 24, 2006

Box Score

Moraga, CA- The Saint Mary's women's basketball team erupted for 100 points to run past visiting Cal State Northridge 100-91 Friday night in the late game of the Hilton Concord Classic. The last time SMC poured in triple-digits was in 1994 when they defeated Providence 103-88. With the win, the Gaels improve to 2-1 on the young season.

"We got off to a slow start but we had some girls step up in the end," head coach Paul Thomas said. "I was very pleased, we did a good job rebounding on the offensive end and took advantage of some turnovers."

With the score 37-31 in the Matadors favor, the Gaels used another huge second half to pull out the victory. The Gaels tallied 52 points and shot 48-percent from the floor in the period.

Down by as many as 14 with 13:40 left in regulation, SMC again went on a big run. But in the ensuing four minutes the Gaels rallied off a 21-7 run to even the score at 62.

The comeback victory was sparked by three career bests by the Gaels. Junior Monica Mertle poured in a career-best 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Fellow junior forward Maija Lahde also tallied a career-high with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Senior center Sheridan Arredondo eclipsed her personal best with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Mertle carried the Gaels in the second half with 15 of her team-high 22 points. Lahde added 11 in the period while Arredondo chipped in 11 and sophomore guard Jontelle Smith poured in eight of her 17.

In the overtime period, SMC ran away from CSUN with 17 points, holding the Matadors to only eight.

Senior forward Eghosa Obaiza tallied seven of her 14 points in the extra time. Smith added five, including the dagger with a big three with 1:33 left in the contest.

Saint Mary's shot 42.5 percent in the game on 34-of-80 shooting while Northridge tallied a 49.3 clip on 34-of-69 shooting.

The Gaels took the edge on the glass with a 46-45 margin. Obaiza pulled down a game-high nine boards while Arredondo followed with seven. Junior guard Lauren Shaughnessy handed out a game-high eight assists.

Ofa Tulikihihifo led all scorers with 23 on 10-of-18 shooting. Kristen O'Rourke tallied 16 on 8-of-11 shooting.

The Gaels kept good care of the ball in the second half only turning it over five times compared to the 13 by the Matadors.

The Gaels are now a perfect 2-0 at home under first-year head coach Paul Thomas. The uptempo style of play enabled the Gaels to amass 100 points for the first time since 1994. The all-time record by Saint Mary's is 123 against Cal State Lutheran in 1983.

With the victory, SMC will now face Missouri in the championship game of the Hilton Concord Classic at 7:05 p.m. Missouri defeated Alabama 78-70 in the classic opener. Alabama will face Northridge in the consolation game at 5:05 p.m. Both games will be played in McKeon Pavilion.