MORAGA, Calif. - Sophomore Taylor Schippers scored 27 points - 18 in the first half - but St. Mary's held off the Butler women's basketball team 85-74 at McKeon Pavilion on Friday. Junior Daress McClung added 17 points and seven rebounds.
St. Mary's was led by Danielle Mauldin with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting. It was the first time a team scored 85 points against Butler since the Bulldogs beat Ball State 105-98 in double overtime on Dec. 12, 2010.
"We really played hard and never gave up," head coach Beth Couture said "We're still learning. When you play a team like St. Mary's that is really talented and experienced, you can't make mistakes."
Schippers, BU's leading scorer, posted her career-high scoring day on 8-for-20 shooting and four 3-pointers. Many of her treys came from very deep and she was also successful pulling up or slashing to the basket.
"Taylor tried to put us on her back," Couture said. "She made some big shots, good passes and defensive stops. But overall, they gave us the 3-pointer and we didn't make enough of them.
Butler hoisted 34 shots from beyond the arc, converting on nine of them. A tall, long Gaels squad limited inside chances and both teams moved the ball up the court quickly all day.
The Bulldogs fell behind in the first half mainly due to foul trouble. Three Butler players were saddled on the bench as SMC took a 44-37 halftime lead. The Gaels finished the day 22-for-29 at the foul line. Butler made just 13 fouls shots.
"We're short-handed and we can't get in foul trouble early," Couture said.
Two key spots came in the second half and didn't go Butler's way. The Bulldogs trailed by as much as 38-25 and was down around 10 points much of the day before BU half-court trapped its way to making a run. The Gaels saw their lead cut to 62-59 when McClung scored with 10:05 remaining. The Bulldogs then got a stop and had a good look at a 3-pointer from the wing that would've tied it, but missed. SMC scored on the next two possessions to go back up 66-59.
Another BU run saw it within 80-74 with 1:10 left. Freshman Lexus Murry made a steal and found Schippers, who penetrated on a defender and was mauled. There was no whistle, and Butler had to foul. St. Mary's then scored the last five points of the game.
Butler will play once more in the two-day event at St. Mary's, taking on Portland State Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT).