Victory in WCC Opener Pushes Winning Streak to 10 For Women's Basketball

Victory in WCC Opener Pushes Winning Streak to 10 For Women's Basketball

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the West Coast Conference opener, Santa Clara women's basketball topped Pacific 76-52 on Monday night to push its winning streak to its longest in over 22 years.

The last time the Broncos had a winning streak of at least 10 games was when they won 11 in a row from Jan. 30-March 12, 1993.

Santa Clara (10-2, 1-0 WCC) dominated on the defensive end and on the glass. The Broncos outrebounded the Tigers 48-33 and scored 22 second chance points. They also forced 32 Pacific turnovers and collected 19 steals.

"We try to play an aggressive style on both ends of the floor," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "That's where we get our energy and I thought our defense fueled our offense tonight."

Lori Parkinson recorded a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) for Santa Clara. Savanna Hanson led all Broncos with 16 points and added three steals. Morgan McGwire grabbed 11 boards and scored nine to go with a pair of blocks while Marie Bertholdt picked up five steals and scored 10 with six rebounds.

The game started ominously for the Broncos with Hailie Eackles converting a four-point play. Santa Clara stormed back with an 8-0 run behind two threes from Hanson and would never trail again.

"You don't want to start a game with an and-one 3-pointer on defense," said Payne. "Savanna came down and hit a couple big threes to spark some momentum for us and we were able to play our game after that."

Pacific (7-5, 0-0 WCC) shot just 33.3 percent (17 of 51) from the field and 20.0 percent (3 of 15) from beyond the arc.

Ellie Lopez Sagrera led all scorers with 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting and led the Tigers with seven rebounds. Ameela Li scored seven and had five steals but turned the ball over eight times.

In what would be the deciding quarter, Taylor Berry started the third on the right foot with a three-point play for Santa Clara. The Broncos would go on to dominate the period 21-7, including an 18-2 run.

The fourth quarter saw the Broncos continue to pull away but sloppy ball handling let Pacific close the gap with a 12-2 run. Santa Clara committed five turnovers during the two-minute stretch.

"The end of the game was a little frustrating because we didn't play our style of basketball," said Payne. "We all have to be ready to come in and give our best at any time. But we're playing well overall so I'm excited about that."

Santa Clara returns to action Wednesday at Saint Mary's at 1 p.m.