Women regroup to win following double-overtime defeat
Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
January 9, 2014
Conference play is underway and the women’s basketball team has found itself in competitive games throughout, winning its first two out of three contests by nine and four points respectively.
After winning their first West Coast Conference matchup earlier in this season, the Broncos came up short in double-overtime against Pepperdine University but bounced back and defeated Loyola Marymount University 69-65 less than 48 hours later.
Pepperdine was the first conference team that Santa Clara faced on the road this season.
Santa Clara began the game on a 13-0 run during the first 6:22 of the game while Pepperdine started the game missing its first nine shots, but the Waves managed to get on the board with 13:21 left in the half after a free throw.
At halftime, the Santa Clara lead had dwindled down to just four, 37-33.
The score remained close in the second half. With 5:25 left in the game, the Waves went ahead 67-64 after a layup.
On the ensuing possession, Santa Clara freshman Jo Paine was fouled on a shot from behind the arc. She hit two of the three free throws.
Paine finished the game with 28 points and 14 rebounds, good for the first double-double of her Bronco career.
“(Paine) brings an instant understanding of the game and a scorer’s mentality,” said Head Coach Jennifer Mountain. “She is very competitive and obviously has talent that will continue to grow. (She) brings an automatic weapon, offensively, to the floor and she is a good teammate.”
With just over a minute to play, Pepperdine held a three-point advantage.
Santa Clara closed the deficit and a layup by freshman forward Marie Bertholdt tied the game at 76 with 25.9 seconds left on the clock.
Pepperdine regained possession and held the ball for a final shot.
With less than two seconds left on the clock, Santa Clara was called for a shooting foul, sending the Waves to the line. But Pepperdine missed both free throws and the teams headed into overtime.
In another back-and-forth period, a layup by Gilday tied the game with a minute left. The Broncos stopped Pepperdine on its next possession, but Santa Clara missed two potential game-winners and the contest headed to a second overtime.
Pepperdine scored six straight points during the second overtime period to take a four-point lead with less than two minutes to play and held on for a 100-93 win.
Gilday contributed with 16 points in the game and center Ruta Zurauskyte added 28 points and 18 rebounds, a career high in rebounds for the senior.
The Broncos had a quick turnaround and traveled to Los Angeles to face the LMU Lions on Saturday.
“After the double-overtime loss, we knew we had to split the road trip and our team is really focused on the now,” said Mountain. “Everyone understands how competitive our conference is and that anyone can be beat on any given night. (We) have to bring an effort every time out, had to bounce back and take care of business on the road.”
The hard-fought game ended in a Broncos victory thanks to a career-high 34 points from Gilday.
“If I had to pick any game to have a career-high against, it would be against a conference opponent, especially on the road,” said Gilday. “Our conference is better than it has ever been and it is always tough to win on the road, so it was great to be able to help my team do that versus LMU.”
Junior guard Raquel Avila also added a career-high 15 points to go along with five assists.
At half, the Broncos were leading 31-24 and Gilday accounted for more than half of Santa Clara’s points and only seven less than the Lions’ 24.
With 17:41 left in the game, LMU came within three points of the lead, but Gilday responded with a transition three.
The Lions took the lead at the 7:57 mark, but Gilday answered one minute later to give Santa Clara the lead for good, this time with a turnaround jumper.
The Broncos made their free throws to capture the victory down the stretch.
Santa Clara is now 6-8 overall and 2-1 in the WCC.
The squad is back home for two games beginning on Jan. 9. The Broncos will take on Saint Mary’s College followed by the University of the Pacific on Jan 11.
Contact Tyler J. Scott at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.