Santa Clara demolish Pepperdine but can’t close out San Diego
The Santa Clara
February 22, 2017
ARCHIVE PHOTO — ETHAN AYSON The Broncos had no trouble against Pepperdine, beating the Waves by 21 points. But Santa Clara again struggled down the stretch versus San Diego, losing by two on a last second three-pointer.
Santa Clara’s second to last week of conference play echoed their entire season of up-and-down play as the Broncos walked away with both a win and a loss.
The Broncos traveled south to play the University of Pepperdine on Feb. 16 and beat the Waves soundly, 69-48. Santa Clara had a dynamic first quarter, scoring 25 points to Pepperdine’s 12.
Senior forward Marie Bertholdt contributed 20 points and nine rebounds, the most of any player on either side.
“I think a combination of (defense, accurate shooting, and tough rebounding led to a win),” Bertholdt said. “We came out aggressively and set the tone in the beginning. Tough, scrappy defense led to effective offense and we got on a roll.”
Santa Clara came out with laser focus on both ends of the court and didn’t let up for forty minutes.
“I think our defense is what really got us going this game just like most of our other games,” said sophomore guard Emily Wolph. “We had a really good start to this game and I think everyone from the one to five contributed both offensively and defensively.”
The Broncos then traveled even further south to play the University of San Diego. The Broncos had lost their previous match-up to the Toreros by a single point. Their match-up on Feb. 18 was another heart-breaker for Santa Clara, as they lost by two in a last second three pointer from Toreros’ leading scorer, Cori Woodward.
The final score was 60-58. Santa Clara kept it dead even with San Diego through the first quarter and traded leads throughout the rest of the game before ultimately falling short.
Bertholdt had another stellar performance, putting up 18 of the Broncos’ 58 points. Wolph and junior guard Kyla Martin each added 13 points of their own.
“I think first half we struggled a little bit but then got a bit of momentum going in the second,” Bertholdt said. “We just couldn’t get consecutive stops and scores in order to pull away and they capitalized on a last second opportunity.”
San Diego also had additional motivations to secure a victory: it was their senior night and final home game of the season.
Next up for Santa Clara is University of the Pacific, a team the Broncos beat by double digits in Leavey. The game is on Feb. 23 and is the last road game of the Broncos’ season.
“We’re expecting it to be a battle,” Wolph said. “Every year it’s difficult to play at Pacific because they are also a team that plays really well at home and get a decent amount of fans.”
The Broncos will return to Leavey on Feb. 25 for their final conference game and home game of the season against the Gaels of St. Mary’s College. A portion of the tickets sales for senior night will go to BAWSI, a local non-profit that provides after-school programs to young, underprivileged girls.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554- 4852.