Second half surge lifts Saint Mary's past Boise State 78-63...
MORAGA, California (11/24/07) - Saint Mary’s defeated Boise State 78-63 in the championship game of the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, California Saturday night. Boise State held a one-point, 49-48, lead with 10:36 to play when Saint Mary’s picked up their intensity and dominated the final 10 minutes of the game. The Gaels closed the contest with a 33-14 run to hand the Broncos their second frustrating loss of the season.
The first half was a battle as the two teams traded leads. Neither team managed to string together any runs as the Broncos claimed their largest lead of the period at the 12:12 mark with the score showing a 13-8, five-point, advantage. Saint Mary’s largest lead was was three points, twice, with a little over six minutes to play.
Boise State rallied before the half to claim a four point, 33-29, advantage on a Jessica Thompson jumper with 1:28 remaining. Unfortunately, the Gaels closed in the final seconds to tie the game at 35 all when the period closed.
The second half remained close until the 11:30 minute mark when Saint Mary’s bumped up their intensity and seized control of the game. Boise State had a four-point, 49-45 lead with 11:54 remaining when the Gaels surged past the Broncos and never looked back. Serena Benavente hit a jumper with 10:24 showing on the clock to give Saint Mary’s the lead for good at 50-49.
Saint Mary’s forced the issue inside hitting several layups and second chance shots as they pulled away from Boise State. By the time the final buzzer sounded the Gaels had run off a 33-14 run to claim their third consecutive victory over Boise State in the series.
Both teams struggled hitting their shots in the first half, but Saint Mary’s pushed their attack inside in the second that saw them go from 35 percent in the opening period to 47 percent in the second.
On the day, Boise State shot 29.7 percent from the floor, 17.6 percent from three-point range, and 71 percent from the foul line. Saint Mary’s finished shooting 41.2 percent from the floor, 18.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 73.1 percent from the free throw line.
The Gaels also seized control of the boards in the second half to finish the game out rebounding the Broncos 52-to-43 and out scoring Boise State 18-to-9 in second chance points.
Tasha Harris led the Broncos in scoring for the fourth time this season with a high of 20 points to go with three rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Jackie Lee was second with 12 points and a team high eight rebounds, while Jessica Thompson recorded 10 points and five boards. No one else scored more than four points.
Saint Mary’s had four players in double-digit points led by Maija Lahde’s team 24 points and eight rebounds. Louella Tomlinson added 12 points, followed by Jontelle Smith with 11 points and Serena Benavente’s 10. All three also recorded six rebounds apiece.
The loss drops Boise State to 3-2 on the year with a game at Portland next Friday looming on the horizon. Saint Mary’s moves to 4-2 on the season.
Newspaper Box Score
BOISE STATE (3-2)
SAINT MARY'S (CA) (4-2)
Boise State................... 35 28 - 63
3-point goals--Boise State 3-17 (Lee, Jackie 2-5; Moore, Brittany 1-4;
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