SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On alumni day, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to San Diego by a final of 72-44. The loss puts the Broncos at 7-17 overall and 3-9 in WCC action while the Toreros are now 19-5 overall and 8-5 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Sat., Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at San Francisco.
"Tonight wasn't about a player, it was about us not playing defense," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We didn't play the second half like we did the first and you have to be able to play two halves. We had a lack of energy, we didn't rebound the ball, we didn't score like we did in the beginning, which put us in a position to be in the game. I was disappointed in that second half and we have to get back to the drawing board."
Santa Clara shot 37.8% (17-45) from the field and 14.3% (1-7) from three. The Broncos had 26 rebounds, five assists, 20 turnovers, three blocks, and eight steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 22 points on 8-13 shooting from the field. Arteivia Lilomaiava added nine points and four rebounds while Marie Bertholdt grabbed five rebounds.
San Diego shot 48.3% (28-58) from the field and 44.4% (4-9) from three. The Toreros had 38 rebounds, 10 assists, 13 turnovers, one block, and seven steals. Amy Kame led the offense with 19 points and six boards to go with two assists. Malina Hood scored 17 on 7-14 shooting while Sophia Ederaine scored 16 points with six rebounds.
It was a defensive struggle through the first four and a half minutes of the game. Gilday scored all four points for the Broncos but San Diego matched them with two inside buckets.
The Toreros got out on top by four on two layups by Ederaine to take a 10-6 lead at the 12:22 mark. Gilday answered with a baseline jumper to get the deficit down to two.
San Diego went out on top by double-digits for the first time with an 11-0 run over 2:38. Hood nailed a three and came back with a layup to force the Broncos to call a timeout. Santa Clara was 0-3 from the floor with four turnovers during the stretch. Lilomaiava ended the run with a tough layup at 7:14 that made the score 21-11.
The Broncos answered with a 15-2 run over 4:42 to take back the lead. Gilday scored eight points during the run and Ricki Radanovich drained a three. The Toreros were 1-9 from the floor during the stretch with four turnovers and called a timeout to regroup at 2:27.
Ederaine hit two from the free throw line with 1:15 left in the first half to make it a 25-24 San Diego lead but Radanovich was fouled on the next Santa Clara possession. She hit both free throws to give Santa Clara the lead right back.
Alysse Barlow made a layup with time winding down in the first half to give San Diego a 28-26 lead heading into the half.
Santa Clara shot 34.8% (8-23) from the field and 20.0% (1-5) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 17 rebounds, five assists, 11 turnovers, two blocks, and five steals. Gilday led the offense with 14 points on 6-6 shooting from the free throw line. Radanovich scored five points with one assist while Lilomaiava scored five points with two rebounds.
San Diego shot 35.7% (10-28) from the field and 20.0% (1-5) from three in the first half. The Toreros had 19 rebounds, four assists, 10 turnovers, one block, and three steals. Ederaine led the offense with 11 points and two rebounds. Hood scored seven points while Felicia Wijenberg had eight rebounds.
Hood nailed a three with 17:29 on the clock in the second half to put San Diego up five. Paine hit a tough jumper to answer but the Toreros came right back to keep it a five-point game.
A three-point play by Kame with 13:20 on the clock made it an eight-point Torero lead. Wijenberg made a free throw and Ederaine grabbed an offensive board for a put back to make it a double-digit lead again for San Diego. Lilomaiava came back with a layup to make the score 45-36 with 10:22 left in the second half.
With the lead at nine, San Diego went on a 7-0 run over 1:45 to get on top by a game-high 16 points with seven and a half minutes left in regulation. A turnaround jumper in the lane by Paine got Santa Clara back on the board.
Seven straight points by San Diego made it a 20-point game for the first time after a layup by Ederaine at 4:13. Katie Hawkins made a tough layup in the lane to get the Broncos back on the board but San Diego came right back with a bucket.
San Diego continued to grow its lead to as many as 28 and was able to hold on for the win.
Game Notes: Attendance was 564 … At halftime former Broncos Liz Bruno and Caren Choppelas-Horstmeyer and their jerseys honored.