SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Returning home for the first time in three weeks, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to UC Davis by a final of 75-70. The loss puts the Broncos at 3-7 while the Aggies are now 3-7.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Fri., Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. vs. Georgia State in the final nonconference game of the season.
"It was back and forth all night long but we couldn't get over the hump and get stops defensively," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We made a nice run in the second half on offense but let them get to the rim on a consistent basis. You have to get stops in the last eight minutes of the game."
Santa Clara shot 36.4% (35-65) from the field and 27.8% (5-18) from three. The Broncos had 39 rebounds, 12 assists, 17 turnovers, one block and five steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 19 points on 6-16 shooting with four assists and four rebounds. Jo Paine added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Vanessa Leo had seven boards and six points.
UC Davis shot 47.1% (24-51) from the field and 42.9% (9-21) from three. The Aggies had 32 rebounds, 15 assists, 16 turnovers, one block and seven steals. Sydnee Fipps led the offense with 22 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 8-9 from the free throw line. Fipps added four rebounds and four assists. Heidi Johnson scored 15 points with five rebounds and three assists while Kelsey Harris had 14 points on 5-10 shooting and 4-8 from downtown.
Marie Bertholdt scored the first bucket of the game at 17:19 off an offensive rebound to give Santa Clara the early lead. The two teams combined for five turnovers and went 0-7 from the field before the first bucket.
Davis didn't score until the 15:44 mark on a layup by Fipps. Santa Clara immediately answered with a jumper by Ruta Zurauskyte on an offensive board and forced an offensive foul on the ensuing possession.
Down 8-2, the Aggies went on a 6-0 run over 1:30 on a pair of threes by Brianne Yasukochi and Harris to even the score at 8-8 with 12:51 remaining in the first half. Raquel Avila put an end to the run with a three from the left elbow to put Santa Clara back on top.
Davis took its first lead at 11:25 on a three by Harris right out of the under-12 media timeout. Leo followed up with an and-one on a nice inside move but failed to convert the free throw and the Broncos led by one halfway through the first half.
After Davis built its lead to four points at 20-16 on a nice turnaround jumper by Idit Oryon at 5:36, Brooke Gallaway knocked down a jumper and was fouled. Gallaway made the free throw to get the Broncos within one.
After a pair of free throw by Fipps, Paine hit a three from the right corner to tie the game at 22-22 with three and a half minutes left in the half. Fipps answered with a slash to the lane for a layup two possessions later to put the Aggies back on top. A Bronco turnover led to a three by Harris that gave Davis its largest lead of the game at five points. Paine answered with a three-point play on the other end for Santa Clara.
Davis looked on the verge of a big run after getting up by seven points but Gilday was able to knock down a jumper to slow the momentum. The teams proceeded to trade buckets on the next two possessions to make the score 34-29 with under a minute remaining in the half.
Some nice ball movement got Marie Bertholdt an easy layup and a stop on defense gave Santa Clara the ball with five seconds left. Gilday went down the floor and was fouled with less than a second remaining. She knocked down one of two and the teams went to the locker rooms with the score 34-32 Davis.
Santa Clara shot 36.4% (12-33) from the field and 25.0% (2-8) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 24 rebounds, four assists, nine turnovers, and two steals. Paine led the offense with seven points and five rebounds while adding two assists. Gilday added six points while Bertholdt scored four points with four boards.
UC Davis shot 41.4% (12-29) from the field and 40.0% (6-15) from three in the first half. The Aggies had 16 rebounds, nine assists, six turnovers, one block and five steals. Harris led the offense with 14 points on 5-7 shooting and 4-6 from deep. Brianna Salvatore had two points and a team-high six rebounds while Fipps scored six points with one assist.
Paine nailed a three in the first minute of the second half to put Santa Clara back on top 35-34 but Johnson answered with a three of her own on the other end. On the next possession Davis made an easy layup off an inbounds pass to get on top by four.
The Aggies went out on top by seven but Gilday cut the Bronco deficit to four with a three from the right corner at 14:57.
Santa Clara got the deficit to three at the 10-minute mark on a nice inside move by Zurauskyte and forced a turnover on the other end. Avila slashed to the lane on the ensuing possession to get the Broncos within one at 49-48.
Avila took the ball away from a Davis player and went coast-to-coast at 6:28 to even the score at 56-56 but Davis came right back with a layup on the other end to get back on top. A Bronco turnover led to a three for the Aggies and they were up five in the blink of an eye.
Gilday hit a big three at 2:23 to get Santa Clara within three at 65-62 and the Broncos promptly called timeout to set up their full court press. The Aggies answered with an easy layup to go back up five.
The Broncos got within three but Davis knocked down its free throws to seal the win.
Game Notes: Attendance was 219 … It was junior Nici Gilday's 21st birthday … Montana Walters missed her second game of the season with an injury … Jo Paine and Raquel Avila fouled out while Ruta Zurauskyte and Katie Hawkins each had four fouls apience.