St. Mary's trailed by 15 points with 8:54 left, but escaped the Leonard Center by out-scoring the Scots 24-7 the rest of the way to claim a narrow 55-53 win. The Cards are now a game behind MIAC co-leaders Concordia and St. Ben's and keep their title hopes alive.
Macalester took a one-point lead with 9:07 to go in the first half and held the advantage until SMU knotted the score at 50-50 with just 3:19 remaining on the clock. The Cards sank five free throws over the final 2:05.
Kyanna Jones (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Osseo) finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead Macalester, while Taylor Pike (Jr., Ashland, Wis. / Ashland-Greenwood) added 10 points. Carmen Whitehead (Jr., Greeley, Colo. / West) scored nine points and Veronika Jakubovie (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) contributed eight points, six boards and three blocks.
The Cardinals had balanced scoring on the night, led by Jamie Stefely and Brittany Begrowics with 12 points apiece. Jessica Thone went 4-for-4 on late foul shots and finished with eight points and four assists. Bridget Pethke led the defense with four of her team's six steals and Courtney Euerle grabbed 10 rebounds.
Almost all statistical categories were even. St. Mary's, however, enjoyed a 22-10 margin in free throw attempts.
Macalester plays host to Carleton on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 1 p.m.