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Women's Basketball Set To Host Eastern Washington

Dec. 20, 2006

This Week in Women's Basketball: The Saint Mary's women's basketball team (3-7) returns home to face off against the Eastern Washington University Eagles (4-7). The lone match before the Christmas holiday will take place on Wednesday, December 20 at 7:05 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels are coming off their first road win on the season, defeating Cal Poly 77-64.

Last Time Out: Saint Mary's flew to Texas to play in the Flint Hills Islander Classic. The Gaels return from the trip with a 1-1 record in the two games. The Gaels fell to tournament host Corpus Christi in the first game by the score of 96-79.

SMC bounced back with a win against Cal Poly in game two. Lauren Shaughnessy was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging nine points and seven assists in the two contests. In the second game Shaughnessy almost recorded a triple-double scoring 10 points, grabbing nine boards and dishing out seven assists. Maija Lahde also sparked the Gaels in the tournament. Lahde scored a team leading 26 points while grabbing 13 rebounds in the two days of competition. Senior Sheridan Arredondo tied a career-high with 18 points and bettered her career high in boards with 14 against the Mustangs.

Who's Hot: Senior center Sheridan Arredondo set new career highs en route to her first double-double of the season. She dropped 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, both career bests. Arredondo shot 7-8 from the floor and made four free-throws as the Gaels leading scorer against Cal Poly.

Scouting the Eagles: Eastern Washington enters Wednesday's game with a 4-7 overall record and a 1-3 mark on the road. The Eagles last played on Tuesday, December 18 where they lost to Davidson University at home. Their leading scorer was forward Sydney Benson who tallied 15 points. Forward Tara Holgate and guard Katy Baker each scored 10 points in the game. On the season, the Eagles are led by senior guard Joanna Chadd. Chadd leads the Eagles in several offensive categories including 157 points, 14.3 points per game, 26 assists and 26 3-pointers made.

Gaels vs Eagles: The Series: The Gaels are currently 0-2 in the series against the Eagles having lost on the road in 2005 and in a neutral site in 1992. The Gaels met the eagles last year when they lost to them 53-63 in Washington. Wednesday will mark the first time the Eagles play in McKeon Pavilion.

Shaughnessy in the Lone Star State: Junior point guard Lauren Shaughnessy was named to the All-Tournament Team after two impressive performances in last weekend's tournament. Shaughnessy's 14 assists led the tournament. On the weekend she averaged nine points and seven assists. In the second gam,e Shaughnessy nearly recorded a triple-double scoring 10 points while adding nine rebounds and seven assists.

Young Guns: Freshman shooter Kira Kojola scored in the double digits in back to back games this past weekend. Saturday's game marked the first time in her collegiate career that she had achieved this mark. The sharpshooter from Finland scored five 3-point shots in the two competitions including going 3-3 from behind the arc against Corpus Christi. Kojola recorded her first career start in the win against Cal Poly.

Gaels Scoring: Maija Lahde is currently twelfth in the conference in points per game. The junior is averaging 10.6 points per game, having scored 106 points in 10 games. Lahde tallied 26 this past weekend in the two games in Corpus Christi.

Grabbing Boards: Senior center Eghosa Obiaza is currently fifth in the conference in rebounds per game and first in the conference in offensive rebounds. Obiaza is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game. She has grabbed 35 offensive rebounds on the season. The senior forward tallied 10 boards in just 13 minutes against the Mustangs.

Gael Theft: Saint Mary's currently leads the WCC in steals per game, averaging 11.00 per clip. The Gaels have taken 110 balls from their opponents in only 10 games. Leading the way is conference leader Lauren Shaughnessy who is averaging 2.50 steals per game on 25 total steals. Eghosa Obiaza (1.80 steals per game, 18 steals) and Maija Lahde (1.50 steals per game, 15 steals) also find themselves on the conference leaderboard.

Dishing it Out: Two Gaels find themselves among the conference leaders in assists. Lauren Shaughnessy, coming off of a 14 assist weekend, is second averaging 5.30 assists per game on a total of 53 assists. Shaughnessy currently leads the conference in assists/turnover ratio of 2.30. Serena Benevente is eight in the conference average 2.90 assists per game on a total of 29 assists.

At the Line: Lauren Shaughnessy and Monica Mertle find themselves eight and ninth in the conference in free throw percentage. Shaughnessy is averaging .769, going 20-26 from the line. Mertle is averaging .750, shooting 18-24. Both Gaels currently have the least amount of missed free throws in the conference, having only missed six.

Next Week: After the Gaels face off against Eastern Washington, they will take the week off to enjoy the Christmas holiday. They return for their two finals games of the calendar year when they face off against the Sacramento State Hornets in Sacramento, CA on December 28 and the Toledo Rockets on December 30 from McKeon Pavilion.