Jan. 31, 2009
MALIBU, Calif. - Despite a strong second half performance, the Santa Clara women's basketball team fell 51-48 at Pepperdine Saturday afternoon in West Coast Conference action. With the loss, the Broncos dropped to 2-20 on the season and 0-7 in WCC action, while the Waves improved to 11-10 overall and 4-3 in league play.
Lena Gipson led the game once again with 16 points. She joined Sara Majors with a team-best seven rebounds. Kathy Willinsky and Alyssa Shoji were solid off the bench for the Broncos. Willinsky added six points and Shoji had eight points. Miranda Ayim led the Waves with 13 points, while Nakeya Isabell added 10 points and eight assists. Jazmine Jackson led the game with eight rebounds.
The Broncos struggled in the first half to get on the scoreboard. The Waves claimed an 8-0 lead with 15:11 to play on free throws by Taylor Smith. Lena Gipson interrupted their run with two free shots of her own at 14:31 to put Santa Clara on the board, 8-2. She then brought the Broncos within two possessions, 8-4 at 12:03. However, Isabell widened the gap with back-to-back three-pointers, 14-4. Alyssa Shoji responded with her own three to make it a seven-point game, 14-7, with 8:21 to play. Pepperdine then claimed a 12-point lead, 25-13, at 2:10 on a jumper from Skye Barnett. Although the Broncos continued to trail, their defense was able to hold the Waves scoreless for the final two minutes. Rhianna Faithfull cut the lead back to 10-points and SCU and Pepperdine went to halftime with a score of 25-15.
Gipson exploded for the Broncos in the opening minutes of the second half. She scored seven straight points to make the score, 29-22. Santa Clara denied Pepperdine for seven minutes and fought hard to knot the score. At 5:58 Kathy Willinsky nailed a layup to make it a two-point game, 44-42; and two minutes later, Maggie Goldenberger tied the game up, 44-44. However, Ayim made a three-point play and Smith had a jumper to put the Waves back up by five-points, 51-46. Yet, Gipson kept the Broncos alive with two free throws to bring it back to three-points, 51-48 with 1:40 to play. However, Santa Clara could not gain the advantage and faced a final score of 51-48.
Santa Clara returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 5 against San Diego. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. The Broncos take a quick trip to Moraga to battle the Gaels of Saint Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.