SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Behind 21 second half points from junior guard Amy Kame, the University of San Diego women's basketball team managed to outscore the Saint Mary's Gaels 45-27 in the second half to overcome a 1-point halftime deficit and claim a 67-50 West Coast Conference win Thursday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 18-8 overall, and move into a tie for third place in the WCC with the Gaels at 9-4 in WCC action. With the loss, there Gaels fall to 17-8 overall and 9-4 in the WCC. With BYU winning tonight, they now move into sole possession of second place in WCC standings at 10-3. And with Gonzaga winning this evening as well, they claim at least a share of the WCC championship. With three games to go, the seeding for the upcoming WCC tournament are up for grabs.
Kame, who nearly out scored the Gaels by herself in the second half, scored all of her game-high 21 points in the second half on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor, while dishing out two assists, recording three rebounds and having one block and one steal for the game. The second Torero in double-figures was freshman guard Maya Hood, who had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and she pulled down five rebounds. Katelyn McDaniel was the final USD player in double figures, as she recorded 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to post her team-leading fifth double-double of the year, while Felicia Wijenberg led the team with 12 rebounds. As a team, USD shot 46.9 from the field, while holding the Gaels to just .354 shooting this evening. USD also out rebounded the visitors 44-28.
The first half of the game was not a pretty picture for either team, as USD shot .300 from the field, and the Gaels were not much better at .346 from the field. But the Toreros did manage to grab the early momentum, as a Hood lay-up sparked a 9-3 USD run over the first seven minutes of the game. A Mia Greco 3-pointer then jump started the Gaels offense, as SMC answered right back with a 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 11-9 on a Amanda Arter 3-pointer with 10:07 to play in there half.
A Wijenberg free throw then sparked a 11-3 San Diego run over the next five minutes of action to give USD back the momentum and their biggest lead of the half at 20-14 with 5:04 to go. SMC didn't fade away, as they managed to close out the half on a 9-3 run to take a one-point lead into the break.
In the second half, the Toreros were a much different team, as they shot a torrid .618 form the field and wasted no time in taking control of the momentum. Kame's first basket of the game came with 18:14 to go, and this jump started a 15-4 Torero run over the next four minutes of action, to give the Toreros they first double-digit lead of the game at 37-27, which then force the Gaels into a timeout.
Out of the break in action, USD continued to push ahead and slowly went on to build up at 16-point lead at 49-33 with 9:04 to go. This proved to be too much for the Gaels to overcome, as they would not get closer than 12 for the remainder of there game, and USD would lead by as many as 22, before settling for the 17 point victory.
The Torero will return to action on Saturday, when they host the University of San Francisco in a 2 p.m. WCC game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. This will be senior night, as USD will honor Julia Bennett, Klara Wischer and Brittany Conger in a pre-game ceremony.
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