SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Heading into the last road trip of the regular season, Santa Clara women's basketball lost to Pacific by a final of 64-47. The loss puts the Broncos at 8-18 overall and 4-11 in WCC action while the Tigers are now 15-10 overall and 10-5 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Sat., Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. at Saint Mary's in the final road game of the regular season.
"We had a nice defensive stance for about six minutes in the first half where we did a good job but then we got in foul trouble and stopped being aggressive," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We couldn't score the ball tonight and the pressure got to us tonight. We'd talked about the pressure for the last two and a half days and worked on it in our scout but it didn't show in our play. "
Santa Clara shot 38.0% (19-50) from the field and 13.3% (2-15) from three. The Broncos had 35 rebounds, 10 assists, 20 turnovers, one block, and four steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 15 points and three rebounds. Vanessa Leo scored seven points with six rebounds while Montana Walters scored three points with four assists and three boards.
Pacific shot 41.1% (23-56) from the field and 31.6% (6-19) from three. The Tigers had 41 rebounds, 18 assists, 14 turnovers, three blocks, and 10 steals. Erin Butler led the offense with 13 points and six rebounds. Kendall Kenyon added nine points and nine rebounds while Madison Parrish scored eight points with four assists.
The Tigers started the game on an 11-1 run over the first 5:03 while the Broncos were 0-5 from the field with five turnovers. Kenyon led the way with five points for Pacific. The first Bronco field goal came at 14:57 when Gilday drained a three to make the score 11-4.
Santa Clara went on an 11-0 run over 3:56 to take the lead for the first time at 12-11. Gilday led the way and her jumper at 11:03 put Santa Clara on top. The Tigers were 0-8 from the field during the run. Pacific finally scored when Marjorie Heard made one of two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound.
Pacific made its first field goal in nearly nine minutes at 9:45 when Parrish hit a three from the left elbow to put the Tigers back on top. Raquel Avila answered at the other end with the shot clock winding down as she hit a runner from the left baseline.
In the blink of an eye, Pacific went on a 12-0 run to get the lead up to 27-14. Santa Clara was 0-3 from the field with three turnovers during the run. After an easy layup by Shanice Butler at 6:37, Santa Clara called a 30-second timeout to regroup. Gilday responded with a slash to the lane and a nice left-handed layup.
Santa Clara went into the locker room down 35-23.
Santa Clara shot 40.0% (10-25) from the field and 10.0% (1-10) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 18 rebounds, four assists, 12 turnovers, one block, and two steals. Gilday led the offense with 13 points on 6-10 shooting. Leo had three board and two points while Walters had three assists.
Pacific shot 40.0% (12-30) from the field and 37.5% (3-8) from three in the first half. The Tigers had 19 rebounds, eight assists, six turnovers, and six steals. Kristina Johnson led the offense with seven points on 2-2 shooting from the field. Butler scored six points while Moore scored four points with three rebounds.
The Broncos did a fantastic job on a fast break at the 18-minute mark that led to a three-point play by Marie Bertholdt. Kenyon answered with an easy layup in transition on the next Pacific possession to make the score 41-28.
The Tigers went on a 12-0 run over 5:01 to make it a 20-point game for the first time. The Broncos were 0-4 shooting with four turnovers during the Pacific run. Ruta Zurauskyte ended the run at 10:20 with layup to make the score 57-35. It was the first points for Santa Clara since a three by Walters at 15:47.
Five consecutive points by Santa Clara got the deficit under 20 points at 7:20. After Kenyon was called for a technical for disputing a call, Gilday made two free throws and Leo followed with one of two.
Santa Clara got the deficit down to 17 points at 1:04 with five straight points but Pacific was able to hold on for the win.