Santa Clara Victorious Over USF, 54-47
Jan. 23, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara's defense held USF to one basket during a seven-minute span down the stretch and the Broncos beat the Dons 54-47 at the Leavey Center. SCU freshman guard Meagan Fulps scored a game-high 18 points while Lena Gipson and Becca Thomas combined for 19 rebounds.
Santa Clara (3-17; 1-4 WCC) built up a 12-point lead late in the second half, thanks largely to the offense supplied by Fulps - the top scoring freshman in the West Coast Conference.
"Meagan (Fulps) did a great job of getting to the rim and making things happen," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "This wasn't the prettiest of games but credit our players for taking control defensively and crashing the boards. That was the difference for us."
USF (4-18; 0-5 WCC) shot just 24 percent from the field (16-for-65). Rheina Ale made three of her 15 attempts and scored a team-high 11. The Dons have lost 11-straight.
SCU was up 45-37 with 8:05 left when Alyssa Shoji drained a baseline jumper. Thomas' offensive rebound and put-back on the next SCU possession positioned the Broncos for the win, leading by 10 at the five minute mark. Thomas had a career-high nine rebounds and Shoji finished with 11 points, playing in all 40 minutes.
USF struggled to solve Santa Clara's zone defense early on, shooting 8-for-33 from the field in the first half. Both teams entered the game averaging less than 56 points per game within WCC play.
Back-to-back baskets by Maggie Goldenberger put SCU up by four in the first half, 19-15, and two more Goldenberger buckets and a Shoji 3 allowed Santa Clara to lead at halftime 26-21.
Gipson cleared 10 rebounds for the 11th time this season and eclipsed the 500-rebound milestone for her two-year Santa Clara career. Her post move and finish inside of three minutes iced the win for SCU.
The Broncos will travel to the Northwest, playing at Gonzaga on Thursday, January 28 and at Portland on Saturday, January 30.