Dec. 12, 2007
Moraga, CA - Jontelle Smith recorded a career-high 27 points en route the Gaels' 79-68 victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs. With the win Saint Mary's improves their record to 6-5, while the Bulldogs fall to 1-7 overall. Smith shot 52.4 percent from the floor (11-of-21), while knocking down five from beyond the arc. The junior guard also chipped in five rebounds, four steals, and one assist for the Gaels.
Saint Mary's came out slow in the first half, as the Bulldogs took a 6-11 lead six minutes into the game. Smith would score on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 11-11 apiece, but the Bulldogs responded with a pair of free throws and a lay-up to take back the lead. The score would continue to remain close, as both teams found their rhythm on the offensive end. The Gaels would end the half down one, as Smith led the way with 12 points.
Both teams shot an impressive percentage from three point land, as the Gaels knocked down 5-of-10 from long range for a 50 percent shooting percentage. The Bulldogs went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, finishing with a 57.1 percentage. Smith recorded two of the Gaels' threes, as Erika Ruiz and Mikaela Cowles each chipped in one apiece.
At the start of the second half the Gaels would ignite, knocking down three threes and two jumpers in the first 2:25 minutes. With a 47-42 lead in hand Saint Mary's would never look back. Smith scored seven of the Gaels' first 13 points in the second half, hitting two jumpers and one three pointer. On her way to her 27 point career-high, Smith scored 15 points in the second half.
Serena Benavente and Louella Tomlinson joined Smith in the double-digit range, recording 14 and 13 points respectively. Benavente picked up a game-high six steals, while also dishing out four assists. Tomlinson posted a game-high seven blocks, improving her season total to 57. The forward's 57 blocks this season breaks the Saint Mary's record for blocks in a season, as the Australian native shatters the record less than half way into the season. Wrapping up the Gaels' top scorers was Lauren Shaughnessy with eight points in the game. Shaughnessy also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, while picking up four assists.
The Bulldogs were led by Erica Henry with a double-double, recording 19 points 14 rebounds. Tierre Wilson tallied 16 points for Fresno State, as she was 6-of-12 from the floor.
The Gaels return to action on Monday, December 17 at 5:45 PM as they travel to UC Davis for a single game road trip.