Slow Start Dooms Santa Clara in Malibu

Feb. 13, 2010

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

MALIBU, Calif. - Santa Clara fought their way back into a game they trailed by 22 but Pepperdine was able to hold on for the win, 65-51, Saturday in Malibu.

Pepperdine (16-8; 7-3 WCC) raced out to 17-point lead, fueled by the play of All-WCC forward Miranda Ayim - who single-handedly outscored the entire Bronco team throughout most of the first half.

The Waves cleared 30 offensive rebounds and used a full-court press to force SCU into 16 first-half turnovers. After six minutes of play Santa Clara had more turnovers than shot attempts.

Meanwhile, Ayim was pouring-in 29 points, matching a career-high she set in Pepperdine's 16-point win over the Broncos January 14 at Santa Clara.

Santa Clara (3-23; 1-10 WCC) was led by the outside shooting of Alyssa Shoji and the inside play of Lena Gipson. Shoji made six 3s and scored a team-high 20 points. Gipson had a career-high five blocks to go along with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Trailing 32-10 with 4:40 remaining before halftime, Shoji made two of her four first-half 3s and Gipson dropped-in a put back layup. It was part of an 11-2 SCU run to close the gap to 34-21 at the break.

The Broncos played much better following the halftime intermission. Freshman Meagan Fulps' corner trey cut the deficit to 45-33, with 13:41 left. Back-to-back 3s by classmate Ashley Armstrong put the Broncos in position for a comeback, 54-44 Pepperdine with 5:31 to play.

SCU got the deficit down to nine on a couple of occasions down the stretch, but would get no closer.