FULLERTON, Calif. – A big first quarter and a balanced offensive attack gave Santa Clara women's basketball a 68-58 victory over Montana in the first of two games at the Titan Classic.
The Broncos (4-2) dominated the first 10 minutes of action, scoring the first six of the period and ending the quarter on a 6-0 run to stretch the lead out to 22-7. Four triples, including a pair for Lindsey VanAllen, were at the forefront of the hot start that gave the team the lead for the rest of the game.
The long-range shot was part of the difference in the game. The Broncos were 9-for-19 from downtown while the Grizzlies (2-3) were just 3-for-13.
Santa Clara got points from nine different players, led by Tia Hay's 25, her first 20-point game of the year and her fifth straight with at least 13. VanAllen chipped in nine with Ashlyn Herlihy scoring nine and Merle Wiehl adding eight and six rebounds. Lauren Yearwood pulled down a team high eight boards to go with four points.
Late in the third, Montana got six points in a row from Emma Stockholm that cut the Santa Clara lead to 40-35, the closest the game had been since a 9-5 Broncos lead with 6:51 to go in the first quarter.
After the run, however, the Broncos went on an 8-0 run of their own over the final 1:48 of the fourth to push their lead back out to 48-35.
Stockholm and Gabi Harrington led the Grizzlies with 12 points each. Abby Anderson added 11 with McKenzie Johnston's nine rebounds leading all players.
A pair of free throws by Tamia Braggs with 9:42 in the second gave the Broncos a game high 17-point lead but the Grizzlies finally found their groove and came back with the next 10 in a row to get within 24-17 midway through the period.
- Santa Clara is now 1-3 all-time against Montana.
- The Broncos made 19 free throws to nine for the Grizzlies.
- Santa Clara held a 10-2 advantage in fast break points.
The Broncos face Delaware tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in the final game of the Titan Classic.
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