Mar. 6, 2011
Las Vegas- The Saint Mary's women's basketball team lost a late lead but pulled out a 71-68 victory over San Diego in the West Coast Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon at the Orleans Arena. Louella Tomlinson scored a game-high 21 points and became SMC's all-time scoring leader with 1,822 points
With the win, Saint Mary's improves to 19-11 and advances to the WCC title game on Monday against No. 20 Gonzaga. San Diego drops to 17-14 for the year, after winning two games in the conference tournament.
Saint Mary's shot 56 percent in the first half and closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 44-34 lead at the break. Tomlinson and Kate Gaze were a combined 8-for-8 from the field in the half. Tomlinson needed just seven points to break Tracy (Morris) Johnston's career scoring record at SMC. She did it in the first half, making a free-throw out of a timeout.
In the second half, the Gaels took a 61-50 lead with 8:23 remaining as the Gaels looked to be tiring out the Toreros, who were playing their third game in three days. The Toreros stormed back, taking the lead on a Dominique Conners jumper at 65-64 with 59 seconds remaining.
Gaze made two more free-throws to put SMC up 71-68 with 4.5 seconds left. Conners raced down the floor and let a three-pointer fly which was on-line, but short as it just grazed the net.
Tomlinson finished with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting, adding nine rebounds. Kate Gaze added 14 points while Jasmine Smith and Alex Carbonel added 12 points apiece. Mauldin, who had the key three-point play with the Gaels down one with under a minute, finished with five points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
The Gaels shot just 25 percent in the second-half and were outshot in the game 44.0 percent to 38.6 percent. SMC outrebounded USD 37-29. Both teams committed 17 turnovers.
Saint Mary's is back in action in the WCC championship game at 12:00 p.m. on Monday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Courtesy of SMC Sports Information