Santa Clara looks to rebound after loss to Gonzaga
THE SANTA CLARA
February 9, 2017
The Broncos began their four game home stand with a 68-52 victory against the University of Portland before losing a heart-breaker to rival Gonzaga University.
Santa Clara needed a win badly; the team was on a four-game losing streak and currently sits in the bottom half of the West Coast Conference. Fortunately, they faced the bottom-dwellers of the WCC.
The contest against Portland also marked the first time in three games Santa Clara’s usual starting five took the court together. The Broncos started off shaky against the Pilots, ending the first quarter down 19-16.
“They were running and pushing in transition and we were running off screens and we weren’t talking (and) when we don’t talk on defense, our offense struggles,” said senior forward Lori Parkinson.
The Broncos quickly regrouped and turned things around—by halftime the Broncos were up by four points. The Pilots continued to battle but their efforts were not enough as they lost by 16 points.
Parkinson stole 20 points and 12 rebounds from the Pilots while junior forward Morgan McGwire supplied 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Broncos returned to Leavey on Feb. 4 to face the Bulldogs of Gonzaga, who rank first in the WCC. The game was pink-themed, in honor of Coach Kay Yow and her cancer fund dedicated to finding cures for women’s cancers. Santa Clara kept it close in the first quarter scoring 12 points to Gonzaga’s 15.
But the Bulldogs pulled away in the second quarter and led 37-24 at the half. Determined to keep victory within reach, the Broncos put up 11 points in the third quarter, enough to keep them within seven points of a tie game. Things remained close throughout the fourth quarter but the Broncos were unable to completely close the gap and lost by just one point to the Zags, 50-49.
Even though Santa Clara left Leavey with an L on their record, it marks a huge improvement from the last time the two teams faced each other in Spokane, when Santa Clara lost 51-39.
“We had Marie (Bertholdt) back, (and) we went in knowing we could compete with this team,” Parkinson said. “They didn’t beat us, we kind of beat ourselves the first time.”
“The home crowd (really helped) and we watched a lot of film on (Gonzaga) from our first game against them, so we definitely knew what to change,” said sophomore guard Emily Wolph.
As for their upcoming game against University of San Francisco, the Broncos are eager to take another shot at the Dons. Santa Clara lost in overtime to USF 77-68 in San Francisco, but the Broncos are confident this time will be different.
“One of the keys we talked about is everyone doing their job and knowing their role and doing it well,” Parkinson said. “Once we get a lead, hopefully we can keep that lead.”
The Broncos host USF Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.