Santa Clara Women Drop Dons, Improve to 4-4 in WCC
Game Highlights and Interviews (SCU 70, UF 62)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Lena Gipson scored a season-high 21 points and pulled in 16 rebounds and Santa Clara's three-guard starting backcourt combined for eight 3s and 38 points in a 70-62 victory over San Francisco.
Leading by eight at halftime, Santa Clara (8-14; 4-4 WCC) opened up a 16-point lead with 12:02 left and held on for the win. Alyssa Shoji and Ricki Radanovich each made four treys and finished with 14 points.
"This was a win we really needed. It puts us in a position we want to be in, among the top four teams in the league," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Overall we are really getting better, finishing games we weren't in the beginning of the year."
USF (4-18; 1-7 WCC) staged a second half comeback after falling behind by 16, cutting the deficit to four, 57-53, on a pair of Donnisha Taylor free throws with 4:13 on the clock. Taylor had 16 points and eight rebounds to pace the Dons.
The Broncos then made 11 of their next 13 free throw attempts, led by Gipson and Meagan Fulps, who combined to sink 17 of 22 for the game. Fulps finished with 10 points, her 15th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Complementing Gipson's presence underneath was the perimeter players for Santa Clara. "They are sharing the ball better and getting to the basket more than they have in the past, looking to create not only more shots for themselves but for other people," Mountain said of her guards on Saturday.
The win gives Santa Clara a regular season sweep over the Dons and moves the Broncos into the top tier of the WCC standings.
"By winning today we put ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be. We want to be in that top four going into the (postseason) tournament," said Mountain. "We have a big week coming up. We've got St. Mary's and San Diego on the road, two big games for us."