Image: Tod Fierner/SMCGaels.com
REDHAWKS LOSE: Call Carbonel a streak-zapper. She scored 17 of her final 19 points in the second half and setup the winning bucket to help give the Gaels a 71-70 win at Connolly Center on Saturday. If it were soccer, I’d award SMC a half-point for winning, however. Neither team played well, but the Gaels were off in all facets, until the second half. And SU still had a chance to win. But SMC (7-4) shot 63.3 percent from the field and outscored SU 47-39 after the break to secure the win. Smith nailed the winning bucket with 15 seconds left. SU had two tries to take the game back, but Rhea missed on a botched play and Adhiambo left an attempt short. Shame, because both played impressive games. Adhiambo led with 12 of her final 16 points in the second half. She also had five boards. Rhea, a steady player, added 14 with six assists and just two turnovers. Butler, a great spark that helped SU outscore SMC’s bench 29-12 overall, finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Now that the streak is over, SU will focus on its final game before the holiday break, traveling to Arkansas Little-Rock for a matchup on Wednesday. SU (6-5) hosts its annual holiday tourney at KeyArena from Dec. 29-30.
TIE GAME: SMC has three players in foul trouble (Mauldin, Nared and Rosenthal), but a three-pointer by Smith has tied the game at 53 points apiece with 8:12 remaining in the game. The Gales are taking better care of the ball and shooting a hot 60 percent from the field (12-for-20) in the second half. The score has been tied four times and there have been two ties in the half.
HALFTIME: Butler had another play-of-the half, ripping the ball from Carbonel as the final seconds ticked off the clock, and taking it to the other end to score as the buzzer sounded. SMC wanted a foul, but the officials repeatedly said there was nothing to call. The impressive bucket put the Redhawks up 31-24 at the break. Neither team is playing especially well. SMC has 16 turnovers and is shooting 29.6 percent from the field. If it could keep hold of the ball, it could possibly work its way back into the game. SU is shooting better, 37.5 percent, but is getting beat bad on the boards (24-19) and is 5-for-10 from the free throw line. If it cleans up those areas, it could stay ahead. Smith leads all scorers with 11 points. Butler has nine to guide SU.
STILL LEADING: SMC did go on a modest 10-2 run, but SU still leads the game 21-15 with 3:50 on the clock. Credit the Redhawks defense, but the Gaels are making plenty of confusing mistakes, too. Hard to believe this is the same squad that defeated a quality UC Davis 75-58.
SCORE IT: Smith put St. Mary’s on the board with an open three-pointer with 10:48 on the clock. Now the Gaels are down 12-5 with 9:30 remaining in the half.
SEEING RED: The Gaels are down 12-0 with 11:59 remaining in the first half, but this is hardly the flurry SU used to bury Santa Clara on Tuesday. The Redhawks are only shooting 25 percent from the field. But they’re getting SMC irked with drives to the hoop while drawing fouls, rebounds, and aggressive defense. Play of the game, so far, is G Daidra Brown’s dish inside to Butler for a layin.
UGLY START: The numbers are in for the first timeout. SU is shooting 20 percent from the field (2-for-10) and SMC has committed seven turnovers. Both huddles were intense, the Redhawks leading 5-0 with 15:36 left in the opening half. Seattle U coach Joan Bonvicini has made her first substitutions, putting in Brenda Adhiambo and Amani Butler.
KIDDING ME?: After three consecutive turnovers to open the game, SMC coach Paul Thomas substituted his entire starting five. He’s in disbelief, shouting “You’ve got to be kidding me,” on each possession. SU is doing a good job of clogging the paint like hair in a drain, but isn’t getting the score in transition. We’re scoreless with 17:22 on the clock.
Seattle University is aiming for a fifth consecutive win, third straight against the West Coast Conference. This time St. Mary’s ( 6-4) is looking to end the streak as the players take the court at Connolly Center.
The Redhawks (6-4) defeated Santa Clara (80-62) and Portland (69-55) earlier this week at home. SMC is 3-0 all-time against SU, including a 80-64 win at McKeon Pavilion last year. The Gaels’ players-to-watch are Jasmine Smith (15 points) and Jackie Nared, who nearly averages a double-double with 11.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. She’s the daughter of former Washington assistant basketball coach Greg Nared.
SU has settled into a nice rotation, using an aggressive defense to get the offense clicking. Let’s see if it continues with your starting lineups:
F Jackie Nared
F Danielle Mauldin
C Carli Rosenthal
G Alex Carbonel
G Jasmine Smith
F Sylvia Shepard
F Ashley Ward
C Kacie Sowell
G Elle Kerfoot
G Talisa Rhea
Tonight’s officials are Lolly Saenz, Ashley Gilpin, and Michal-Ann Watts.