LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team used a late rally but came up short in a Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) quarterfinal game at Pauley Pavilion.
The Gaels wrap-up a 23-win season (23-11) in a year where the Gaels played 34 games and 21 of those against teams that qualified for either the NCAA or WNIT postseason.
Lauren Nicholson led the way for the Gaels with 23 points, while Stella Beck added 10 points. Carli Rosenthal added six points and six rebounds, while Hayley Hendricksen chipped in with nine points.
The Gaels cut an 18-point deficit down to seven points at the under four media timeout but UCLA shot over 60 percent in the second half to pull out the game.
Saint Mary's hit five of its first 10 shots of the game with Nicholson hitting three during the stretch as the game was tied at 13-13 at the under 12 minute media of the first half.
Rosenthal scored in the paint at the 7:40 mark, ending a UCLA 7-0 run as the Gaels pulled within 21-16. Nicholson scored on a fast break before the under four minute media timeout to pull SMC within 26-20 with 3:41 remaining.
Mauldin scored her first points of the game at the 3:23 mark, just the fourth different Gael to score, pulling SMC within 26-22.
UCLA scored off a missed free-throw just before the halftime buzzer to take a 34-25 lead into the break. Nicholson had a team-high 11 points at the break.
Out of the break, UCLA quickly extended its lead to 14 before a Hendricksen jumper and three-pointer ended the run.
A three-pointer by Nicholson at the 12 minute mark pulled SMC within nine at 53-44. At the under eight minute media timeout, the Bruins were hitting 78 percent from the field, extending a lead to 18 points at the seven minute mark.
The Gaels used a 9-0 run to cut the deficit in half to 71-62 with 3:22 remaining. Beck swished home a pair of free throws to pull SMC within 71-64.
UCLA converted free-throws down the stretch to close out the game 82-66.