Tigers Fall In Heartbreaker To Saint Mary's, 68-67

Tigers Fall In Heartbreaker To Saint Mary's, 68-67

Stockton, Calif. - A jumper by Jackie Nared with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Saint Mary's Gaels a 68-67 win over Pacific Saturday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Tigers' senior center Christina Thompson scored a game-high 18 points  while junior guards Ashley Wakefield and Erica McKenzie each added 13 points. McKenzie also handed out seven assists and recorded six steals.

Nared scored the final seven points for the Gaels, cutting four-point Tiger lead to in half with 2:32 to go and putting SMC on top with an 'and-one' three-point play with 1:58 to go.

After Wakefield drove the lane and got to the line, knocking down a pair of free throws at the 0:55 mark for a 67-66 Tigers' lead, Nared and Wakefield traded turnovers, before Nared dribbled into the elbow and knocked down a jumper with 2.3 left on the clock.

Pacific (0-3), forced 32 turnovers, but scored 24 points off those SMC miscues, while the Gaels held a 41-31 rebounding advantage led by Carli Rosenthal's 14 rebounds to go with 11 points.

Four Gaels hit double-figures, as Alex Carbonel led SMC with 12 points, while Rosenthal (11) was joined by Jaszmine Smith (10) and Nadel (10) in double-digits.

Junior forward Ashley Smith added nine points and a pair of assists for the Tigers, who out-scored St. Mary's in the paint 34-26.

The Tigers trailed for the first 15 minutes, before the full court press sparked a 12-3 Tigers run to pull within one, 20-19. Wakefield drained a three from the wing to knot the game at 24-24, and added a lay-up for the Tigers' first lead at 26-24.

McKenzie added a lay-up as the Tigers took a 32-29 halftime lead.

In the second half, McKenzie added another lay-up, but Saint Mary's embarked on an 11-2 run to take a 40-36 lead. Pacific answered with lay-ups from Brianna Johnson and McKenzie to tie the game back up at 40-40, but an 8-0 SMC run gave the Gaels a 50-42 lead with 11:12 to play.

Pacific answered again, as Thompson knocked down a jumper and a pair of free throws to cut the margin in half, and after a steal and one free throw by Brianna Johnson, Thompson added another lay-up to cut the margin to 50-59.

Thompson posted another lay-up after a pair of free throws and Smith scored inside as the Tigers took a 54-53 lead with 8:11 remaining.  Smith and Brianna Johnson scored inside again, re-establishing a three-point lead, but Jaszmine Smith tallied from underneath the basket, and after a lay-up from McKenzie, Danielle Maudlin's free throws cut the Tigers' advantage to 63-61.

Thompson posted a lay-in, but Nared took over for Saint Mary's, posting five-straight points before Wakefield's free throws gave the Tigers the lead and set the stage for Nared's game-winning jumper.

Saint Mary's improves to 2-2 on the young season.

The Tigers are back in action on Tuesday, in a 7 p.m. road contest at Cal State Bakersfield.