SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Wrapping-up the regular season road portion of its schedule, Santa Clara women's basketball knocked off Saint Mary's by a final of 89-83. This was the first win for Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's since an 82-55 win at the WCC Tournament in 2009. It was the first regular season win vs. the Gaels since an 84-71 win in Moraga on Jan. 7, 2007. It was also the first time head coach Jennifer Mountain or any of the current players have topped Saint Mary's. The win puts the Broncos at 9-18 overall and 5-11 in WCC action while the Gaels are now 20-7 overall and 10-6 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Thurs., Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. vs. LMU in the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara shot 48.3% (29-60) from the field and 60.0% (12-20) from three. The Broncos had 28 rebounds, 20 assists, 10 turnovers, two blocks, and six steals. Montana Walters led the offense with a career-high 26 points on 5-8 shooting from three and seven assists. Nici Gilday scored 23 points with six assists while Marie Bertholdt and Jo Paine each scored 10 points.
Saint Mary's shot 40.0% (26-65) from the field and 36.4% (4-11) from three. The Gaels had 46 rebounds, eight assists, 14 turnovers, three blocks, and three steals. Danielle Mauldin led the offense with 24 points and 16 rebounds on 14-16 shooting from the free throw line. Jackie Nared scored 21 with 11 rebounds while Kate Gaze scored 17 points.
Saint Mary's scored the first two points of the game and built a 7-2 lead with five points from the free throw line in the first two minutes. Paine answered with a three on the next Santa Clara possession to make the score 7-5.
With the Broncos down four points at the 13:31 mark, Gilday drilled a three to make the score 15-14 in favor of the Gaels. The lead for Saint Mary's would grow to five on a pair of free throws from Nared but Gilday made a layup at 11:39 to get it back to a one possession game.
Two possessions later Arteivia Lilomaiava grabbed an offensive rebound and Walters made it count as she hit a three at 10:46 to tie the game at 19-19. Saint Mary's responded with an 8-0 run over 2:02 to make the score 27-19.
The run ended when Paine hit a three at the eight-minute mark. Lilomaiava made a layup on the next Bronco possession to get it back to a three-point game. After two free throws by Mauldin, Santa Clara scored four straight to get the deficit down to just one with 5:34 left in the half.
With 54 seconds left in the first half Ricki Radanovich hit a three to put the Broncos on top for the first time at 38-37. Nared came back with a layup to put the Gaels back on top but Lilomaiava made a jumper with 13 seconds on the clock to send Santa Clara into the locker room with a 40-39 lead.
Santa Clara shot 44.1% (15-34) from the field and 50.0% (6-12) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 15 rebounds, 10 assists, four turnovers, two blocks, and three steals. Paine led the offense with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Gilday scored nine points with three assists while Walters scored eight points with five assists.
Saint Mary's shot 34.4% (11-32) from the field and 20.0% (1-5) from three in the first half. The Gaels had 26 rebounds, three assists, six turnovers, one block, and two steals. Mauldin led the offense with 10 points and seven rebounds. Nared added 10 points and six rebounds.
The teams went back and forth until the 15:38 mark when Santa Clara went on an 8-0 run over 1:29 to make the score 60-52. Gilday and Walters both hit threes to help spark the run. Mauldin made two free throws to end the run and the Gaels got within three at the 11:57 mark.
A layup by Bertholdt at 6:25 put the Broncos up seven points and on the next Bronco possession Gilday hit another three to make it a double-digit lead for the first time.
Saint Mary's went on a 6-0 run over 3:26 to make the score 76-72 Broncos after Gaze hit a three at 1:21. Walters ended the run with a pair from the charity stipe at 1:18. After a jumper by Gaze, Walters hit three more free throws in four tries to give Santa Clara a seven-point lead with 50 seconds remaining.
Nared drilled a three and Walters came back with two more from the free throw line. After another three from Nared, Bertholdt made a layup and Gilday hit two free throws after a turnover by the Gaels.
Nared made a layup but Gilday followed it with two free throws. Hayley Hendricksen made a layup with two seconds left but it wasn't enough and Santa Clara won the game.