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Wins Over MSUB, No. 8 SPU Earn Saints Weekly Accolade
The Saints' win over MSUB was just their second in the last seven meetings while the SPU win was the fourth against the Falcons in SMU’s GNAC history.
The Saints' win over MSUB was just their second in the last seven meetings while the SPU win was the fourth against the Falcons in SMU’s GNAC history.

Monday, January 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Saint Martin’s women’s basketball team scored two huge victories last week, upending double-digit win teams in Montana State Billings and No. 8 Seattle Pacific, to earn the Red Lion Hotels Team of the Week.

Playing in their home gym for just the fourth and fifth times this season, the Saints withstood four of the top 10 scorers in the conference to pull within fighting distance for a seed in the fast approaching GNAC basketball tournament.

On Thursday, the Saints used their 42 percent shooting night to help beat Montana State Billings 63-54.

“We’ve played so many games on the road, these kids are finally feeling more comfortable shooting the ball at home," head coach Tim Healy said.

SMU started fast, jumping out to a 17-6 lead after 10 minutes of play. Forward MacKenzie Taylor hit two three-pointers in the first half as the Saints took a 13-point lead at the break. The 19 points allowed in the first half to MSUB was the lowest total allowed by the Saints against a GNAC opponent this season.

“We’re starting to play together," Healy said. "The key for us is to start strong on the defense end and we did that for the first 30 minutes.”

Starting the second in similar fashion as the first, the home team extended their lead up to 22 with 13 minutes left in the game. The Saint held off a late run by the Yellowjackets for just their second home win of the season.

Senior Liz Mills led the way with 15 points while junior Megan Wiedeman contributed with her third double-double of the season. Mills 86 percent shooting night was the second highest field goal percentage in a game for any Saints player this year.

In one of the biggest upsets of the 2014-15 GNAC season, the Saints continued their on-target shooting at home to beat No. 8 Seattle Pacific 68-66 Saturday.

After trading baskets in the first five minutes of play, the Saints went on a 16-9 run the next 10 minutes and closed out the half up by 12.

Guard Krista Stabler scored the first six points for SMU coming out of the break before the Falcons stormed back to pull within two with 49 seconds on the clock.

The Falcons fouled Angela Gelhar who made two free throws, putting the Saints up by four. After allowing an SPU three-pointer, Gelhar was fouled and sent to the line again, making one. The Saints defense stood strong on a tying-shot from SPU and, after an offensive rebound, Taylor stole the ball to seal the victory.

Stabler tied her career-high with 21 points on 9-12 shooting while Mills, Wiedeman and Gelhar all added double-digit scoring performances.

Three players scored at least 20 points in the two wins with almost 40 percent of their points coming from inside the key.

“In particular, we felt that (getting the ball in the paint) gave us the best opportunity to score," Healy said. "SPU got into to foul trouble and our inside bigs played exceptionally well.”

The Saints win over Montana State Billings was their second in the team’s last seven meetings while their victory over the Falcons was just the fourth against SPU in the school’s GNAC history.

“Going forward, the key for us is consistency," Healy said. "We struggled early in the year with that so that’s a major goal of ours the rest of the season.” 

Saint Martin’s will get a short break this week, having Thursday off before hosting Western Oregon Saturday. 

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