SAN JOSE, Calif. – Coming off of a thrilling buzzer-beater win, Santa Clara women's basketball beat cross-town rival San Jose State soundly by a final 62-47 behind three Broncos in double digits. Santa Clara is 5-4 this season and San Jose State, the youngest women's basketball team in Division I, dropped to 3-6. The Broncos travel to UC Davis for a Dec. 16 match-up with the Aggies at 4 pm.
The Broncos were led by Lindsay Leo who had her first double-double of the season as she picked up 15 points and 12 rebounds. Leo had missed the last few weeks after having her appendix taken out over Thanksgiving weekend.
"She gives us two threats down low and I thought she came out and really established herself early," said Mountain of Leo. "She had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half. It was just good for her to get back in the flow of the game and get more contact than she's had in practice the last few days."
Ricki Radanovich also had a big game, scoring 21 points while knocking down five threes from beyond the arc. She also added five steals and two assists. Ashley Armstrong added 12 for the Broncos with seven rebounds.
San Jose State was led by Ta'Rea Cunnigan's 20 points with six steals and two assists. Riana Byrd and Emily Schill both grabbed 11 rebounds each for the Spartans who played the game with just seven players.
Santa Clara shot 34.8 (24 of 69) from the field, including 35.3 percent from three (6 of 17) while pulling down 57 rebounds, its highest total of the season. The previous high was 50 on Nov. 17 vs. Utah Valley. The Broncos shot 66.7 percent from the free throw line (8 of 12). The Broncos turned it over 28 times.
Defensively, the Broncos held San Jose State to 23.8 percent from the field (15 of 63) and forced 25 Spartan turnovers. SJSU shot 30.8 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 13) and 76.5 percent from the free throw line (13 of 17).
"I thought we had some fight tonight," said Mountain. "The first couple minutes they made a little bit of a run on us but we were able to bounce back and stretch the lead back out. Our defense really fuelled what we did today and helped us get the win. We were also able to get some good looks and hit some shots when we needed to."
The game's scoring started when Cunnigan nailed a three to give the Spartans the 3-0 lead but the Broncos answered with a lay up by Leo on the next trip down the court.
At 17:36, Radanovich nailed the first Bronco three of the evening to put Santa Clara up 7-4. Santa Clara kept the game going at an up tempo pace and saw Leo nail a five-foot jumper and then a layup to extend the lead out to 13-6 at the first media timeout.
Randanovich stole the ball right out of the timeout and missed a three but after an offensive rebound on good ball movement by the Broncos, Armstrong made a layup to extend the lead to nine points. Armstrong added another layup the next time down the floor to put the Santa Clara lead into double digits at 11.
Jayzyl Tauala ended the 9-0 Santa Clara run with a jumper from the right side of the hoop to cut the Bronco lead to 18-8, where the scored stood at the under 12 timeout.
Leo grabbed her seventh rebound of the first half and put the ball back in the hoop for her 10th point of the game.
Tauala nailed a three with a defender in her face at 9:45 to score the first Spartan basket in over two minutes and made the scored 22-11.
Cunnigan nailed another three with 4:21 to cut the Spartan deficit to 10, the lowest it had been since 11:50 left in the half.
The next trip down the court, Radanovich put the Broncos back up by 13 when she nailed a three from the left side.
Brooke Gallaway made a nice move to slash to the hoop at 1:54 and connected on the layup for her first points of the game. The bucket made the score 33-22 in favor of Santa Clara where it would remain going into the half.
Leo had a huge first half coming up one rebound shy of a double-double. She had 12 points and brought down 9 boards to lead the team in both categories. Radanovich scored eight points while Fulps and Armstrong each had five.
As a team Santa Clara shot 39.4 (13-33) from the field and was 3-7 from beyond the arc. The Broncos pulled down 29 boards and had nine assists while forcing 12 Spartan turnovers and holding San Jose State to 22.6% (7-31) from the field. Cunnigan led the way for San Jose State with 13 points in the first half.
Right out of halftime the Spartans cut the lead to single digits on a layup by Thomas and made the score 33-24.
The next time down the court Thomas scored again in the lane to get the game within seven points, the closest it had been since 15:05 left in the first half.
San Jose State continued its run and extended it to 10-0 dating back to the first half on a basket and a pair of free throws The score was 33-30 before Leo went to the line to score the first Bronco point of the half. Radanovich grabbed a steal at half court and took the ball to the hoop for a layup to push the Bronco lead back to six.
Radanovich nailed her third three pointer of the game with 15:21 left in the second half to help the Broncos build their lead back to nine at 39-30 and the next time down the court Raquel Avila nailed her first three of the game to put Santa Clara back up by double digits.
Santa Clara extended its lead up to 20 on a layup by Armstrong and one by Avila with 12:14 left in the half before the Spartans took a time out. The layups gave the Broncos on a 17-0 run over five minutes.
Thomas scored the first Spartan basket in over six minutes at 10:25 to end the Bronco run at 22-0 and make the score 52-32.
Santa Clara and San Jose State traded baskets and at the under four minute media timeout the score was 62-40 Broncos. The Spartans went on a 7-0 run late in the game, but Santa Clara came away with the win, 62-47.