DAVIS, Calif. – A huge fourth quarter helped lift Santa Clara women's basketball to a thrilling, last-second victory at UC Davis 62-61 Saturday afternoon.
The Broncos (3-1) trailed by 16 with three and a half minutes to go in the third quarter but stormed back with 28 points in the fourth and got a layup from Tia Hay with just .2 seconds on the clock to take their first lead since 23-22 at the 7:29 mark of the second period.
"The team came back from being down and I'm really proud of them," Santa Clara head coach Bill Carr said. "The bottom line is they kept fighting and gave themselves a chance to win. We talk about winning the fourth quarter and finishing so that was nice to see today as well."
Santa Clara never scored more than seven in a row in the fourth quarter, but a steady flow of offense and improved defense let the Broncos slowly creep back into it.
After a layup by Hall with 1:05 to go in the game made the score 61-56 Aggies (0-3), Santa Clara scored six in a row to close out the game, with the final four coming from Hay on a jumper and her game-winning layup.
In the second half, UC Davis was just 6-for-24 from the field and 1-for-10 from beyond the arc after going 13-for-26 and 6-for-12 in the first 20 minutes.
"The defensive intensity changed in the fourth quarter," Carr said. "We were a little quicker in our help gaps and that us allowed us to get some energy offensively."
It was a team effort as Hay scored a team high 14 points with Ashlyn Herlihy scoring 13 and pulling down seven rebounds. Merle Wiehl added nine points and Lexie Pritchard scored eight with five others scored in the game.
"Everybody made some sort of contribution to the comeback and even through the whole game," Carr said. "That's what's exciting about this group."
The Broncos found themselves in the hole because UC Davis went on a 12-0 run near the end of the first half behind a pair of triples from Katie Toole that was finally stopped with Pritchard's triple that made it a 37-28 halftime score.
After some back and forth to begin the second half, the Aggies rattled off 10 in a row to stretch their lead to a game-high 48-32 with 3:53 on the clock. Campbell Gray capped the run with a 3-pointer and a free throw.
Toole finished with a game-high 21 points and hit three from deep but was the only UC Davis player to register double-figures. Kayla Konrad finished with nine points and Gray chipped in six.
- Santa Clara is now 12-13 all-time against UC Davis.
- The Broncos took advantage of their free throws, connecting on 17 of 18 while UC Davis was just 16 of 25.
- Santa Clara's defense forced 16 turnovers which turned in 19 points.
- The Broncos used their size to outscore the Aggies 34-22 in the paint.
The Broncos head to Missouri State Friday at 4 p.m. Pacific.
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