One of the top games in the nation to watch takes place Saturday in McKeon

Fresh off a thrilling 75-70 win over Brigham Young, the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team (17-4, 7-3 WCC) hosts San Diego (18-3, 7-3 WCC) on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.  On the national radar, the match-up ranks as one of the Top-8 games to watch on February 1st.

In Rick Nixon’s NCAA Notebook on, he includes the continued storied season of Danielle Mauldin, who recently broke the WCC and SMC rebounding record.

While the next game will continue to always be the “most important game of the season,” for the Gaels, the match-up between USD and SMC should be a good one.

The Toreros will be looking to end the Gaels unblemished record in McKeon Pavilion.  SMC is a perfect 11-0 in Moraga this season, as an undefeated home slate has never been achieved in school history (best is 15-1).

Saint Mary’s has dropped six straight to the Toreros, but this year’s earlier meeting was a one-possession game under the final media timeout.  The two squads enter the game tied for second-place in the WCC, two games behind Gonzaga.  SMC enters with an RPI of 32, while USD is at 33.

Under this year’s women’s West Coast Conference tournament format, a top-2 seed gives a team an advantage in the quarterfinals.

Regarding the WCC Tourney, teams seeded seven through 10 play on Thursday’s first-round.  The quarterfinals take place on Friday as the top two seeds play the winners of the first-round games (making it a back-to-back for the seven through 10 seeds).  Seed No.3 faces No. 6, while 4 faces 5 in other quarterfinal action.

The four winners will then have Saturday and Sunday off, before the WCC semifinals begin on Monday and Championship on Tuesday.

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