COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Kicking off the Air Force Classic, Santa Clara women's basketball beat UC Davis by a final of 79-76. The win puts the Broncos at 4-2 overall while the Aggies are now 3-4.
Santa Clara returns to the floor tomorrow, Sat., Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at Air Force in the final game of the Air Force Classic.
Santa Clara shot 46.7% (28-60) from the field and 41.7% (5-12) from three. The Broncos had 43 rebounds, 19 assists, 14 turnovers, five blocks, and nine steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 33 points on 12-17 shooting. Marie Bertholdt added 17 points with nine rebounds while Raquel Avila scored seven points to go with eight assists.
Davis shot 50.0% (25-50) from the field and 50.0% (10-20) from three. The Aggies had 29 rebounds, 18 assists, 14 turnovers, three blocks, and seven steals. Sydnee Fipps led the offense with 24 points on 8-14 shooting and five rebounds. Alyson Doherty scored 12 points with four boards while Dani Nefekh scored six points and had three assists.
Right out of the gate Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute of the game. Nefekh hit a three at 17:25 to get Davis on the board and a minute later a jumper by Beyer gave the Aggies their first lead. Gianotti hit a three to make it an 8-0 run over three and a half minutes but Gilday hit a jump shot to make it a two-point game.
At 12:27 Bertholdt made an assist to get Santa Clara back on top by one but Nafekh answered back just 12 seconds later with her second three of the game. Nagel followed with a layup to make the lead four points.
The Aggies would get the lead out to as many as seven but a three by Gilday off an assist from Beth Carlson at 4:52 made the score 25-22. The Broncos came back and got on top 31-29 with two minutes left in the half.
A three by Fipps with 28 seconds remaining in the half capped a 6-0 run for Davis before Morgan McGwire made a jumper with four seconds left. The teams entered half time with the score 35-33 Aggies.
Santa Clara shot 38.7% (12-31) from the field and 12.5% (1-8) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 22 rebounds, eight assists, eight turnovers, one block, and four steals. Gilday led the offense with 17 points on 6-9 shooting. Bertholdt added nine while Emily Wolph had four assists.
Davis shot 61.9% (13-21) from the field and 62.5% (5-8) from three in the first half. The Aggies had 13 rebounds, 10 assists, eight turnovers, two blocks, and five steals. Fipps led the offense with 11 points on 4-6 shooting. Nafekh scored six points and Celia Marfone grabbed three rebounds.
Thirty seconds into the second half Gilday hit a three to put Santa Clara on top. The Broncos would go on a 9-0 run over 1:44 behind buckets from three different players. Taylor McGuire made a layup at 17:51 to end the run and make the score 42-37.
With 10:18 remaining in the game, Santa Clara scored seven straight points to get on top by double-digits for the first time. The run was highlighted by a three from Gilday and a pair of free throws from Bertholdt. At the eight minute mark McGuire made a three of her own to get the Bronco lead back down to nine.
A layup by Marfone at 2:37 cut the lead to six and a layup by Fipps with 55 seconds left made it a four-point game. After a free throw from Maddison Allen, Doherty made a layup to make it just a three-point game with 30 seconds left on the clock. Doherty fired up a three with three seconds left for the tie but it was no good and Santa Clara held on for the win.