SMU at Bon Appetite Classic / Friday, Nov. 17, 2006


Saint Mary's
Box Score / Game Highlights: Jessica Weisbrod, SMU: 13 points; Amy Saufferer, SMU: 12 points; Kelly Tanke, SMU: 11 points

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.