November 29, 2009

Exciting Game at Santa Clara Goes to Utah, 59-54

Nov. 29, 2009

Final Stats |  Action Gallery (1)  |  Action Gallery (2) 

SANTA CLARA, CA - Utah needed 21 points from 6-foot 3-inch center Taryn Wicijowski and some late free throws by Kalee Whipple to escape Santa Clara's Leavey Center with a 59-54 victory over the Broncos.

The Utes used a 12-2 run to lead by 12 with four minutes left. Santa Clara stormed back. A step-back triple by Alyssa Shoji and a layup by Lena Gipson cut the lead to three in the final minute.

Whipple finished with 18 points, making five free throws in the closing 25 seconds to allow the Utes to hang on for the win. Utah (2-3) - two-time defending Mountain West Conference champs - rebounded from recent losses to UCLA and Stanford.

Santa Clara (1-4) was hosting the first of four straight home games. The Broncos will next play UC Davis Thursday, December 3 at 7 p.m.

Gipson had 17 points and 12 rebounds - the 21st double-double of her Bronco career. Shoji scored 14, matching a career-high by making four 3s.

With Utah leading 40-38 midway through the second half, Wicijowski and Whipple combined for all of Utah's points during its 12-2 surge. Whipple's traditional three-point play with 6:49 remaining put Utah up by seven. Wicijowski banked-in a layup to extend the lead to 52-40 with 4:02 on the clock.

Wicijowski, a true-freshman center from Saskatchewan, had her way in the paint, sinking 9-of-14 shots.

Maggie Goldenberger and Meagan Fulps responded by knocking-down shots for Santa Clara and a Shoji trey with 1:12 left brought the crowd to its feet and the Broncos to within five at 54-49.

On the ensuing Ute possession Santa Clara's full-court press generated a steal and basket by Gipson to cut the lead down to three. Another Utah miscue dealing with the pressure gave SCU a chance to tie with 40 seconds left. A three-point attempt by Ashley Armstrong just missed.