Broncos tune up for regular season with double-digit wins
Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
November 7, 2013
The women’s basketball team cruised to blowout victories in two exhibition games this past week.
The squad defeated the Sonoma State University Seawolves by a score of 81-47 on Friday and the Humboldt State University Lumberjacks 94-68 on Sunday.
“It was time to play somebody else. We’ve been beating up on each other (in practice),” said Head Coach Jennifer Mountain.
Against the Seawolds, redshirt sophomore Vanessa Leo led Santa Clara scorers with 14 points, shooting 7-10 from the field. She also grabbed 12 rebounds to secure a double-double on the night.
Freshman Jo Paine added nine points and collected 12 boards in her first game in a Bronco uniform. Senior Ricki Radanovich contributed with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Mountain acknowledged that certain changes in the team’s play had been addressed over the offseason.
“The biggest thing I wanted them to take out of the game was the tempo of the game because we want to go a lot faster than we have in the past, and I thought especially that (the) first half was a pretty good display of what we’re going to look like,” said Mountain. “We want to run, and the only way we can run is by rebounding so it’s been a big emphasis from the get-go.”
With this mentality in mind, the Broncos scored 24 points off turnovers, 12 on fast breaks and 17 off second-chance opportunities.
Santa Clara won the opening tipoff and were in complete control, eventually going into halftime leading 52-17.
The Broncos outscored the Seawolves 58-0 in the paint and outrebounded them 60-37.
They also added 21 assists in the game and never struggled to score, shooting 48.5 percent from the field.
“We’re very, very not selfish,” said Paine after the game. “I’m so excited to see what we can do.”
In their second exhibition game against the Humboldt State Lumberjacks, the Broncos opened up with a slower pace.
“I thought we were kind of flat in the beginning of the game,” said Mountain. “I don’t have an answer for why we were flat, but we’ve got to pick up our defensive intensity, especially at the beginning of the game. (We) gave up too many open looks.”
The first half of the game was characterized by back-and-forth play between both teams.
Going into halftime, the Broncos led the Lumberjacks 46-37.
Santa Clara came out strong in the second half and outscored Humboldt State 48-31 to secure the win.
“It was good to see how the team was playing together,” said sophomore Katie Hawkins. “It was good to finally get out those nerves the first couple of games. We’re going to work on our defense, being help and just being more aggressive all around.”
Paine led the Broncos with 13 points and four other players scored in double-digits. Sophomore Brooke Gallaway, Hawkins and Leo all scored 12 points. Senior Arteivia Lilomaiava added 10.
Santa Clara shot 43.1 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from three-point range during the game.
The squad racked up 21 points off turnovers as well as 13 second-chance points. The points-in-the-paint differential wasn’t nearly as lopsided as their first game. The Broncos only outscored the Lumberjacks 32-26.
“The exhibition games are really just to see where we’re at on both sides of the ball,” said Mountain. “We got a chance to play a lot of people too. We have five freshmen, so getting them some game experience was good.”
Santa Clara will face the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in their first regular season game on Nov. 8.
Contact Tyler J. Scott at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.