Cardinals, Stimmel pick up first win with 56-43 win vs. Bearcats
PORTLAND, Ore. The Saint Mary's University women's basketball team made its season-opener doubly special Friday night.
Not only was the Cardinals' 56-43 win over Willamette in the opening round of the Lewis & Clark Bon Appetite Classic their first win of the season, but it was also the first win for first-year head coach Shawn Stimmel.
And the Cardinals made it look easy in the second half.
The Cardinals and Willamette went toe-to-toe for the opening 20 minutes, with neither team able to gain much of an advantage. The Bearcats grabbed their largest lead of the half, 22-16, with 4:14 remaining. In those final four minutes, however, the Cardinals netted nine points including a 3-pointer from Kelly Tanke (La Crosse, Wis.) that gave SMU a 25-22 halftime advantage.
The Bearcats clawed to within one twice over the game's final 20 minutes the last at 31-30 with 11:36 remaining before SMU took control, scoring 25 of the game's final 38 points to ice the win.
Jessica Weisbrod (Rollingstone, Minn.) led a trio of SMU players in double figures, as the Cardinal junior scored a game-high 13 points. Amy Saufferer (Morristown, Minn.) chipped in 12 points, while Tanke finished with 11.
The Cardinals shot 48 percent from the field (22-for-45) and made 10 of their 14 free throws, while Willamette struggled offensively all night, shooting 27 percent from the field (17-for-62), including a dismal 2-for-10 effort from beyond the 3-point line.