Santa Clara can’t close out two tight games
THE SANTA CLARA
February 2, 2017
The Santa Clara women’s basketball team had another rough week on the road, losing two hard-fought games in a devastating fashion.
The Broncos first game was at Brigham Young University, where they fell to the Cougars 72-66 in double overtime. BYU, ranked second in the West Coast Conference, was the overwhelming favorite. Yet the contest in Provo was evenly played, as evidenced by the extra time.
Marie Bertholdt, the usual starting forward sat on the bench due to an Achilles injury and the team missed her presence on the court. In her absence, Emily Wolph shined with a team-high 22 points and four assists. But that wasn’t enough to stop BYU and their leading scorer Cassie Broadhead, who had 28 points.
Santa Clara outscored the Cougars in the first and fourth quarters and stayed even in the first period of overtime. The dagger came in the final period of overtime—BYU put seven on the board and the Broncos were only able to answer with a single point. Santa Clara and BYU are now tied at a game apiece for their season series. The last time the Broncos hosted the Cougars, Santa Clara won by one point in a thriller at the Leavey Center.
Not content with one nailbiter, the Broncos put their fans through yet another torturous competition when they traveled back to California to play their neighbors to the north, St. Mary’s College. Santa Clara lost to the Gaels 55-53.
The Gaels turned on the pressure early, putting up a ten point lead over the Broncos in the first quarter. The Broncos regrouped and responded after half time, bringing the score to 47-43.
Santa Clara couldn’t keep the momentum going in their favor. St. Mary’s outscored Santa Clara by six points in the fourth quarter to secure the two point victory. The loss put Santa Clara in a three-way tie for sixth place in the WCC with the University of San Diego and the University of the Pacific.The Broncos were again without senior forward Marie Bertholdt but that only drove Emily Wolph to have yet another great game. Wolph contributed 18 points to the effort and junior guard Taylor Berry followed right behind with 15 points. In another notable statistic, junior forward Morgan McGwire established her presence in the paint with 11 rebounds. The Broncos will get another chance at the Gaels when they host them on Senior Day at the Leavey Center on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The team will get a break from travel as they head into a four game home stand starting with the University of Portland on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The Broncos should have no problem handling the Pilots after beating them by 12 in Portland. It helps that Portland sits at the bottom of the WCC standings and has had a lackluster season thus far. The win against Portland will be very important to the Broncos’ confidence as they host Gonzaga just two days later.
Gonzaga is 8-2 in league play and will not be an easy opponent. The Bulldogs stole one from Santa Clara mid-January and the Broncos will be looking to even the score. The key to a victory will be limiting turnovers. The Broncos had 26 turnovers in Spokane and the Bulldogs punished them with a point for every turnover. Santa Clara will also need to step up their offensive rebounding and look for second chance points.
Catch the Broncos at the Leavey Center on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. when they host Gonzaga.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.