Lena Gipson Leads Santa Clara Women Past Pacific

Post Game Interviews with JMO and Lena Gipson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
Lena Gipson had 22 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with just over a minute left to lift Santa Clara past Pacific Thursday night at the Leavey Center, 52-47. 

Trailing by one with 1:07 remaining, Gipson scored and was fouled, putting the Broncos up by two after the made free throw.

Pacific had a chance to answer but turned the ball over and Santa Clara's Telisha Anderson made a 10-foot jumper with 24 seconds on the clock to ice it for the Broncos.

Gipson's 22 rebounds was a career-high and it was her third 20-rebound game in her three-year SCU career. She also had 11 points, making it five-straight double-doubles for the senior from Hanford, Calif. - the top rebounder in the West Coast Conference at 12.2 boards per game.

It was the first win for Santa Clara (1-8), who was playing its third home game this season. Meagan Fulps scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half to allow the Broncos to lead at halftime 25-22.

Trailing by seven with just under nine minutes left, Pacific (3-8) rallied to take a one-point lead in the closing moments on a 3-pointer from Danielle Peacon, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Coming off a 22-point road win at USF, the Tigers pressed Santa Clara the entire first half, accounting for a fast-paced game. But neither team shot the ball particularly well, combining to make just 22 of 60 (.367 percent) shots in the opening half. Both teams finished the night shooting 32 percent from the field.

It was Fulps in the early-going helping Santa Clara go on an 11-0 run after Pacific scored the game's first six points.

A pull-up jumper by Alyssa Shoji gave the Broncos an 18-12 lead with 8:58 remaining before the break. The advantage grew to as many as seven, 25-18, on a basket from Fulps, who was 3 of 6 shooting in the first half while Gipson was collecting 11 first-half rebounds.

An inside bucket from Tiger freshman Gena Johnson allowed Pacific to pull within one, 29-28, just after the intermission and her driving lay-up gave the visitors their first lead since the game's opening moments, 37-36, at the 10:50 mark.

Fulps answered on Santa Clara's next two possessions, doing it off the dribble and from 3-point range. Shoji would tack-on a triple to cap an 8-0 Bronco run and SCU was back in front, 44-37.

The Santa Clara lead was three with 4:30 left when Gipson banked-in a shot underneath to stretch the lead back to five at 46-41.

However it was Johnson again scoring on the drive and despite an off-shooting night at that point from Peacon, the Tigers' leading-scorer knocked-down a clutch 3 to put Pacific up 47-46 with 2:16 to play.

Gipson brought the crowd to their feet moments later when she scored and was fouled around the basket. Thanks to Anderson's fade-away jumper when Pacific desperately needed a defensive stop, the Broncos finished off the Tigers for the win.

SCU will try to make it two straight when the team returns to action on their home floor Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Seattle.