Buzzer-Beater Sinks Santa Clara Women

Dec. 6, 2009

Final Stats |  Action Photos (1)  |  Action Photos (2)  | Alyssa Shoji Ties the Game at 66

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Teresa Case's baseline three-pointer just before the buzzer allowed South Dakota a 69-66 win over Santa Clara Sunday afternoon at the Leavey Center.

Alyssa Shoji buried a deep 3 for Santa Clara with 12 seconds left to tie it at 66 before Case knocked down the game-winner. Case was left open as the Broncos collapsed on a driving Amber Hegge. Hegge had scored 21 second-half points to put USD in position to win.

"It was an extremely emotional game," said South Dakota head coach Ryun Williams. "Two evenly matched teams, hungry to get a win. We've had a tough go at it lately. This was a huge win for us."

Santa Clara (1-6) extended a one-point halftime lead to eight with 15:48 remaining. The Broncos played inspired basketball to open the second half, bouncing back from an 18-point loss to UC Davis on Thursday. Lena Gipson made 7-of-9 shots from the field and led all SCU scorers with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Shoji finished with 17 points, including the clutch three in the final moments.

"We believe in ourselves and made plays down the stretch that showed that," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "What a huge shot by Alyssa. We just needed one stop to force overtime."

Hegge scored 14-straight points for South Dakota (2-3), making consecutive 3s to pull the Coyotes within one, 43-42, with 11:23 left.

Santa Clara led by four, 51-47, when Jasmine Mosley made an outside jumper and Jamie Young banked-in a layup to give USD its first lead of the second half at the 6:03 mark.

The Broncos went back to Gipson, who used her strength in the paint to generate the next four SCU points. Meagan Fulps dropped in a 3 from the right wing to re-establish a four-point Bronco advantage, 58-54, with 3:49 to play.

Hegge and Case made back-to-back 3s to give South Dakota a 60-58 edge with 2:35 left. Moments later, from the same spot Case hit the game-winner, she swished in another trey to give South Dakota its biggest lead of six with 1:15 left.

Three-straight missed free throws by South Dakota gave Santa Clara the ball with 21 seconds left, trailing by three. Shoji pulled up from 20 feet and tied it at 66.

"She has ice in her veins," Williams said of Shoji. "We saw it on film when (Santa Clara) played Utah. I thought `here we go again.' Shoji is a winner, so is Gipson, really good players."

On South Dakota's last possession Hegge drove the middle of the lane, and kicked out to Case spotting up on the left baseline.

"It was a great game," said Mountain. "We just didn't do the little things it takes (to win) one like that. This team needed a win and to come so close is disappointing."

Santa Clara wraps up its current homestand Friday, December 11 with a 6 p.m. game with UC Bakersfield. The game is part of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader at the Leavey Center. The SCU men will host Dominican at 8:15 p.m.