Dec. 9, 2007
Tuscaloosa, AL - The Saint Mary's Gaels could not get the job done on the road, as they were defeated 66-56 by the Alabama Crimson Tide. Jontelle Smith and Serena Benavente led all players with 15 points apiece, while freshman forward Louella Tomlinson posted a career-high 10 blocks. The Gaels shot 24.6 percent from the floor on 17-of-69 shooting, while the Crimson Tide finished with a 40 percent field goal percentage.
Alabama took control from the start, as they went on a 10-1 run in the first eight minutes of play. Both teams were unable to find their offensive rhythm in the first half, as the Gaels shot a mere 20 percent from the floor, with a halftime score of 26-33.
At the half the Gaels were led by Benavente with seven points, two rebounds and two steals. The senior guard shot 2-of-6 from the floor, and knocked down 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Smith recorded two three pointers in the first half, while Tomlinson and Shaughnessy each chipped in four points apiece.
Once again Alabama started off strong from the beginning, as they went on a 14-5 run to start the second half. Talisha Chandler scored six of her team-leading 14 points in the Alabama run. A Linsday Ellis lay-up ended the run, and both teams went scoreless for the next two minutes. Two back-to-back three-pointers by Jontelle Smith ended the drought for the Gaels, as they would decrease Alabama's lead to eight, 44-36. Sierra Chambers would put in a lay-up for the Gaels, 44-38, but Tierney Jenkins would answer back with a set of free-throws.
The Gaels could not cut the lead to less than six, as the Crimson Tide continued to get to the basket on the offensive end. Four Alabama players finished with double-digits in points, while the Gaels Smith and Benavente were the only players to reach the double-digit mark.
Louella Tomlinson's 10 block performance improves the freshman's block count to 50. Tomlinson's 50 blocks ties in the Gaels' record book for blocks in a season. The forward averaged 4.4 blocks per game before the 10 block performance, ranking her second in NCAA Division I in blocks per game average. Tomlinson's 10 blocks also sets a new career-high and new record for blocks in a game, as she held the previous record of eight.
The Gaels (5-5) return to action on Wednesday, December 12 in McKeon Pavilion, when they face the Fresno State Bulldogs at 7:05 PM.