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Defense Leads Gaels over Bears

Dec. 30, 2007

Box Score

Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's women's basketball played another thrilling game Sunday afternoon, defeating the Northern Colorado Bears 73-62, after being down 15 points at half time. The Gaels were led by senior Serena Benavente, posting 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field. Two other Gaels joined Benavente in the double-digit range, with Lauren Shaughnessy and Louella Tomlinson recording 10 points and six rebounds apiece. Tomlinson also had five blocks and four assists in the game.

The Gaels jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the first half, but the Bears answered back quickly, taking a 15-14 lead with seven minutes to go. From that point on Northern Colorado continued to find the bottom of the net, going on a 24-7 run to take a 39-21 lead over the Gaels with 5:54 left to play in the first half. The Bears would finish the half with a 15 point advantage over the Gaels, 45-30.

Northern Colorado was led by Jamie Schroeder in the first half, scoring 19 points and pulling down seven rebounds. For Saint Mary's Tomlinson paved the way with seven points, while Kira Kojola chipped in six.

Saint Mary's started the second half down 15 points, but chipped away at the score to cut the deficit to 10 with 12:54 remaining. For a while it did not look like the Gaels would be able to break the Bear's 10 point lead, as Saint Mary's remained down 10 with 7:39 to play. Fortunately for the Gaels senior guard Serena Benavente gave the team what they needed, knocking down a crucial shot from long rang with 6:41 to play. Benavente's momentum was contagious for the Gaels, as Sierra Chambers and Lauren Shaughnessy recorded four and five points respectively in three minutes of action. Shaughnessy's jumper tied the game at 60 apiece, and from that point on the Gaels would never look back.

Down the stretch the Gaels went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, as Benavente knocked down four and Shaughnessy pitched in two.

Jamie Schroeder of Northern Colorado led all players in scoring with 18 points, but was held to two points in the second half by the Gaels' defense. The Gaels held the Bears to a 25.9 shooting percentage in the second half, after Northern Colorado recorded a 51.9 shooting percentage in the first half.

The Gaels improve to 8-8 on the year, while Northern Colorado drops to 6-7. Saint Mary's does not return to action until January 12, when they play the Santa Clara Broncos at 7:00 PM in the Leavey Center. The game against the Broncos will mark the Gaels' first WCC action on the year.