Dec. 19, 2009
BOISE, Idaho - The Santa Clara women's basketball team hung tough with now 9-3 Boise State Saturday afternoon on the road, but came up just short, 75-67.
Santa Clara (2-9) got as close as five with 4:54 left thanks to a long 3 by Meagan Fulps. All-WCC forward Lena Gipson scored 17 points and cleared 12 rebounds and true freshman Noe Viloria had 15 on 5-of-7 shooting.
Viloria - who had her number retired at Huntington Beach High School last year - played a season-high 27 minutes. She had missed seven of the first eight games with injury.
Boise State (9-3) entered the week as the top team in the WAC. Jessica Van Hoogen made four 3s and led all scorers with 19. Van Hoogen led three BSU players who scored in double-figures.
"I don't think we played particularly well," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Defensively is where we are really struggling, we are having a hard time stopping people."
Behind 11 first-half points from Van Hoogan, Boise State led at halftime 33-25. BSU was 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the first half.
Eighteen of Santa Clara's 25 points in the opening half came from beyond the arc.
Following the intermission, Santa Clara went inside to Gipson, who scored four-straight baskets to keep SCU close. Viloria added a baseline runner to make it 40-34 BSU at the 14:56 mark.
With SCU still trailing by six with 12 minutes left, the homestanding Broncos went on a 15-5 run to extend the lead out to 16, 62-46, culminated by a fast break layup by Tasha Harris.
Ashley Armstrong swished-in a pair of 3s to get Santa Clara back into it at the 7-minute mark, 62-52. Then, Gipson reasserted herself in the painted area, resulting in four free throws to spark SCU's late push.
The Boise State lead was seven, 71-64, with 2 minutes left but SCU could not close the gap.
"It's hard day-in and day-out to be close and not get a win," said Mountain. "Being with a team and being close is a whole lot different than getting wins."
SANTA CLARA NOTES: SG Meagan Fulps was named to the `National Honor Roll' by the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight for her 44 combined points against CSU Bakersfield and Pacific last week... F Lena Gipson has eclipsed the 100-rebound plateau in just 11 games; Gipson entered the week ranking No. 32 nationally in rebounding (9.7 rpg)... Starting forward Maggie Goldenberger missed the game with Boise State with a sprained ankle; classmate Kimee Goeggel got her first start of the year... The West Coast Conference (WCC) extended fan voting for the 25th Anniversary of Women's Athletics Team; SCU all-time leading scorer Melissa King Fisher is on the ballot - to vote visit wccsports.com.