Women’s basketball loses lead against difficult opponent
THE SANTA CLARA
January 8, 2014
Despite outscoring the University of San Diego in the first half and leading for the majority of the game, the Broncos could not hold off a 10-0 run with 4:45 left in the game. The teams clashed on Saturday, Jan. 3 but came up short due to the late spurt for the Toreros.
Two Broncos, guard Nici Gilday and forward Marie Bertholdt, had standout performances and contributed to the Broncos’ command of the first half. Gilday continued her impressive senior season by scoring 25 points and securing two rebounds and two steals.
Gilday, the Broncos’ top scorer and leading free throw shooter, admitted her shortcomings in the game, aside from the 25-point outing.
“I didn’t do a great job of taking care of the ball with too many turnovers that hurt us down the stretch,” she said. “We have done a good job of putting ourselves in a position to win games (but) we just have to finish them out by getting stops on the defensive end and taking care of the ball.”
Sophomore Bertholdt agreed with what Gilday said about the team’s giveaways. The Broncos ended with 20 turnovers in the game.
“(Against USD), turnovers on the offensive end and rebounding on the defensive end hurt us down the stretch,” she said.
Bertholdt was a force for the Broncos down low, adding five rebounds and three blocks to the stat sheet, as well as 9 points.
Dominance in the paint is something she is very familiar with; the Bay Area native has racked up 100 rebounds this season alone. Even though the Broncos were unable to pull off a win, Bertholdt is proud of her team.
“We battled and really fought on the court (and) executed plays well during the game,” she said.
Coach JR Payne, in her first season as head coach for the Broncos, says the loss has not affected the team’s determination.
“Our goals are to be tough, hard working and disciplined,” she said. “We have made tremendous improvements in all of these areas and will continue to keep working towards these goals.”
The loss to USD puts the Broncos’ record at 5-8 with plenty of time to redeem themselves in conference play. With a new head coach, a solid core of returning players and a couple all-star freshmen, the women’s basketball team looks to improve their West Coast Conference record, beginning with a contest against the University of Portland Pilots.
The Broncos have been hard at work preparing for the Pilots, a team with whom they have a strong rivalry.
Coach Payne said her squad has been working on understanding University of Portland’s “personnel, and all (their) strengths and weaknesses.”
Additionally, she said that the team has been watching film and “growing in our understanding of what we are doing well and what we can improve.”
Bertholdt echoed those sentiments.
“I think if we continue to focus on the little things and improve on what we’ve learned from in the past games, we have a lot of success coming down the road,” she said.
The Broncos return to Leavey Center and take on the Pilots on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. and face the Bulldogs of Gonzaga University on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m.
Claire McLoughlin is a sophomore English major.