Bronco Women Edged By Gaels, 69-62

Feb. 4, 2010

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara fought their way back into a game they trailed 16-0 after the opening six minutes, but local rival St. Mary's outlasted the Broncos, winning 69-62 Thursday night at the Leavey Center.

Santa Clara (3-20; 1-7 WCC) would lead in the first half and trail by just five late in the game, but it was not enough to beat an SMC team who has won 7 of 8 games in the WCC.

St. Mary's (16-7; 7-1 WCC) received 16 points from All-WCC forward Louella Tomlinson, who also pulled-down 14 rebounds and blocked five shots. Tomlinson is just 10 blocks away from the all-time NCAA record.

Inside baskets by Tomlinson and Ashlee Smith followed a 3 from Kate Gaze, pushing the Gaels out to the early 16-point lead.

The Broncos first basket came on a transition jumper by Meagan Fulps after 6 minutes and 21 seconds of play. Back-to-back 3s by Alyssa Shoji sparked the SCU comeback, pulling SCU within three, and a Fulps' lay-in made it 18-17 SMC with 8:30 left before halftime.

The deficit was erased moments later when Ashley Armstrong scored to make it 21-20 Santa Clara.

Ten first-half points from Smith ultimately allowed St. Mary's to take a 36-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Broncos continued to pressure the Gaels after the break, trailing by one in the early stages of the second half. The SMC advantage was five with 11 minutes left when Fulps scored in the open floor to make it 48-45 SMC.

The Gaels answered with easy baskets to get the lead back into double-figures, Jasmine Smith scoring on a breakaway layup and Tifa Puletasi banking-in two of her nine points from point blank range.

Ashlee Smith finished with 15 points and Jasmine, 14. With 4:48 remaining the Broncos found themselves trailing by 11, 60-49.

A pair of old-fashioned three-point plays, the first by Gipson and another by Maggie Goldenberger got Santa Clara within five with 3:21 on the clock. It was as close as SCU would get down the stretch.

Lena Gipson finished the game with 11 rebounds and nine points for SCU, the 11th time this season Gipson has cleared 10 or more rebounds. Fulps led all Bronco scorers with 17.

The Broncos are hosting the University of San Diego Saturday at 2 p.m., a game that is part of the `WBCA Pink Zone' initiative, which raises awareness for breast cancer research.