Santa Clara defends home-court with two convincing victories
The Santa Clara
February 16, 2017
Women’s basketball finished a four-game home-stand with back-to-back wins against the University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific.
The Broncos first hosted San Francisco and looked to take revenge on the Dons after losing to them in double overtime in their last meeting. Santa Clara trailed in the first quarter by three points but quickly came back to edge the Dons by one point going into halftime. Whatever was said in the locker room clearly worked; the Broncos came out onto the hardwood in the third quarter and dominated San Francisco, scoring 27 points to the Dons’ measly 12. Santa Clara held off a late run by San Francisco to win the game 74-61.
“In both games, we came out on top early but what was different in the second game against them was that we didn’t let them close the gap. Our defense was really strong and we communicated really well,” said junior forward Morgan McGwire. “We also played personnel very well. We knew what all their players were capable of and we worked together to limit their strengths.”
Two days after their victory over San Francisco, Santa Clara took the court at Leavey for their first match-up against Pacific this season. From the first tip, Santa Clara controlled the game. They held Pacific to 16 points in the first half and put up 34 themselves. The Tigers tried to keep the game competitive but Santa Clara’s up-tempo offense and relentless defense was too much. Santa Clara took home their seventh conference win of their season with a final score of 68-51.
“The win on Thursday definitely gave us a boost of confidence going into Saturday’s game,” said sophomore guard Emily Wolph. “We knew we had to come out aggressive both offensively and defensively and that’s exactly what we did. We really wanted to be the ones to set the tone.”
After two weeks at home, Santa Clara will travel south to Pepperdine University for a match against the Waves on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. The last time Santa Clara hosted Pepperdine, the Broncos tallied a tidy victory and should expect similar results, even though they’ll be in enemy territory.
“We have beat them once but that is in the past. The same thing we did last time needs to be done again. Our defense needs to be aggressive and we need to take care of the ball on offense,” said senior forward Marie Bertholdt. “If we do both those things, good things will happen.”
Following the Pepperdine match-up, Santa Clara continues their road trip with a game against the University of San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 18. Santa Clara lost to San Diego by a single point when they played the Toreros in Leavey, so Saturday’s game should be a highly competitive and exciting one. A victory at Pepperdine, coupled with their wins last week, could give the Broncos the confidence they need to triumph over San Diego.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554- 4852.