SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Despite recovering from a 15-0 second half run, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to UC Riverside by a final of 90-80 in overtime. The loss puts the Broncos at 0-3 overall while the Highlanders are now 2-2.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Wed., Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. vs. San Francisco State.
"In overtime I thought we had too many missed opportunities and you can't do that in close games," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "A little bit of inexperience in popping its head up at bad times and we're not making the plays. I love our fight, that's not the issue. We've got to get stops and have a defensive intensity for 40 minutes."
Santa Clara shot 38.4% (28-73) from the field and 26.7% (4-15) from deep. The Broncos had 49 rebounds, 20 assists, 25 turnovers and six steals. Marie Bertholdt led the offense with a career-high 18 points on 7-9 shooting and six rebounds. Vanessa Leo had a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds while Nici Gilday scored 16 points and had four rebounds.
UC Riverside shot 43.9% (25-57) from the field and 30.0% (3-10) from three. The Highlanders had 36 rebounds, 12 assists, 17 turnovers, seven blocks and 16 steals. Brittany Crain led all scorers with 37 points on 9-13 shooting from the field and 16-20 from the free throw line with eight steals. Simone DeCoud scored 20 on 7-14 shooting and Natasha Hadley scored 14 with eight rebounds.
UC Riverside got out to a 3-0 lead but Santa Clara came back to take a 6-5 lead at the 17:10 mark on a pair of layups by Paine. Kiara Harewood tied the game with one of two from the charity stripe. After a Bronco bucket, Crain followed with a steal and a layup plus an and-one to make the score 9-8 Highlanders.
The Broncos went up four 15-11 at 12:50 on a three by Walters. Walters dribbled up to the arc and drained the three without a defender in her face. Santa Clara took a 17-15 lead into the under-12 timeout.
Raquel Avila made a nice move to get to the baseline and connect on a layup to put Santa Clara up 21-17 with just over 10 minutes remaining. A minute later Avila made a nice drive in the lane to finish again and give the Broncos their biggest lead at seven points.
The Highlanders went on a 7-2 run over a minute to get within four points at 29-25. Jamila Williams hit two free throws and Crain nailed a three from the top of the key to spark the run.
Both teams knocked down a pair of free throws around the two-minute mark to make the score 37-32 Santa Clara. Hadley hit a deep jumper with 1:18 left but the Zurauskyte answered with a layup and a foul on the ensuing possession.
Gilday slashed to the hoop on the final possession of the half to send the teams into the locker room with the score 42-34 Santa Clara.
Santa Clara shot 51.9% (14-27) from the field and 25.0% (1-4) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 21 rebounds, eight assists, 11 turnovers, and two steals. Gilday led the offense with eight points on 3-5 shooting and three boards. Bertholdt and Paine each had six points while Zurauskyte added five.
UC Riverside shot 32.0% (8-25) from the field and 33.3% (2-6) from deep in the first half. The Highlanders had 10 rebounds, three assists, eight turnovers, three blocks and seven steals. Crain led the offense with a game-high 17 first half points on 7-9 shooting from the free throw line. Hadley added six points and a team-best four boards.
The Highlanders came out of the half and scored the first two buckets on a pair of jumpers by Hadley. Paine answered with a jumper from the free throw line for the first Bronco basket of the half but Crain got UC Riverside within three with a deep three that made the score 44-41.
Riverside took the lead with a 15-0 run over 3:33 that made the score 58-48 Highlanders. DeCoud led the way for UCR with seven points over the run. During the same span, Santa Clara was 0-4 from the field with four turnovers. The run finally ended on a jumper from the free throw line by Bertholdt.
The Highlanders took a double-digit lead for the first time on a pair of free throws by Crain at the 13:07 mark but Bertholdt came down the floor and made a layup to cut the lead back down to eight.
With 8:35 remaining, Walters hit a transition three from the right elbow to make the score 64-57. Gilday hit a three of her own after a pair of Riverside free throws to get Santa Clara within six.
Santa Clara came up with a steal and Gilday hit a three from the right side to get the Broncos within three points at 71-68 with just 2:50 remaining. A defensive stop gave Santa Clara the ball and Bertholdt connected on a layup to get Santa Clara within one.
Riverside answered with a deep two at 1:39 to get back out on top by three. Bertholdt made a bucket and was fouled but couldn't make the free throw to tie the game. A missed three gave Santa Clara a chance to take the lead but they turned it over. The Santa Clara defense stepped up and forced a jump ball to give the Broncos the ball with 55 seconds left.
Leo missed an inside shot and Santa Clara fouled to extend the game. DeCoud made one of two to give Santa Clara a chance to tie with a two. Leo missed a shot but was fouled on the rebound and went to the line for a one-and-one. She knocked down both free throws to tie the game at 74-74.
The game went to overtime after Riverside failed to convert a last second attempt.
Riverside went on a 9-0 run over the first 2:54 of overtime to get out on top 83-74. Santa Clara scored its first point of overtime at 1:47 on a free throw by Paine.
Riverside executed from the free throw line down the stretch and was able to close out the game.
Game Notes: Attendance was 240 … Katie Hawkins made her first career start … Santa Clara has led at the half in each of its first three games … It was the first overtime game of the season for Santa Clara … This was the first game this season that Nici Gilday didn't lead the team in scoring.