Santa Clara opened up its 2010-11 women's basketball schedule with a 62-49 exhibition win versus Sonoma State on Tuesday night. Santa Clara opens its regular season slate at home on Fri., Nov. 12 vs. Fresno State at 8 pm. The women's game proceeds the men's game vs. CSU Bakersfield at 6 pm.
"Our biggest goal for this game was to see where we were at, especially offensively," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Lindsay, after being out a year, came in and did a nice job of establishing an inside presence. Megan was very solid from the outside. Our three-point shooting was a plus, we hit 10 for 18. That's one of our biggest strengths and I thought we took good shots. We didn't establish a good inside-outside presence from the get go and that's something for us to work on. The first five minutes of the second half were really what we want to be about: more up-tempo, moving the ball and sharing the ball. It really started with our defensive pressure early in the second half. That will be a little bit different than last year. This year we will be able to establish things with our defense and run at a faster pace. Tonight there were pieces that were very good. We need to do a better job on the boards and working to establish a physical presence. We need to be more physical and put a body on someone."
Santa Clara started senior Lena Gipson and sophomores Meagan Fulps, Alyssa Shoji, Telisha Anderson and Lindsay Leo. It was Leo's first game in a Bronco uniform after transferring from San Diego State and sitting out last season per NCAA rules.
Santa Clara shot 40.7 percent from the field, including 55.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Broncos collected 35 rebounds, 10 three-pointers, four blocks, 22 assists and 10 steals. They had 15 turnovers to Sonoma State's 20. Sonoma State shot 35.4 percent from the field, including 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Seawolves collected 37 rebounds, two blocks, seven assists and six steals. Santa Clara was 4-for-9 from the free throw line and Sonoma State was 13-for-17.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Fulps' 18 points, hitting four three-pointers, and adding four assists. Shoji scored 11 points with seven assists and five rebounds. Leo added 10 rebounds and nine points. The Seawolves were led by the eight points of Oly Larkin and the seven rebounds of Elizabeth Day and Amrallina Rowland.
Leo scored the first points of the season, a five-foot jumper at 18:33. Fulps hit the first three pointer at 14:53 and Leo collecting the first free throw at 18:05. The first person off the Bronco bench was Ashley Armstrong.
In the first half, Leo collected the first basket of the game at 18:33 and followed up less than 30 seconds with a free throw at 18:05. Neither team had a lot of luck in the early going due to the combination of tough defense and cold shooting.
Fulps scored an easy lay-up after a steal at 15:32. She followed up with a three-pointer at 14:53, the Broncos first of the season. The Seawolves hit their second basket of the game at 13:39, a three-pointer.
After the Broncos hit a pair of free throws, a few seconds later they stole the ball and Shoji hit a three at 12:32 to make it 13-5. Sonoma State's coach whistled for time. Armstrong hit a three at 11:56 to make it 16-5.
Sonoma State went on a 5-0 run before Leo hit a lay-up under the basket to put the Broncos up 18-10 with 7:19 left. Gipson then hit a bucket at the buzzer to make it 20-10 at 6:23. Timeout Sonoma State. Fulps hit Santa Clara's fourth three-pointer of the first half a 5:03, giving SCU a 23-10 lead. Sonoma State tacked on two free throws at 4:27.
Sonoma State hit a free throw with 3.3 seconds on the clock and the teams went to the lockerrooms with the Broncos up 28-20. Santa Clara shot 37 percent in the first half, hitting 25 percent from the three-point line. Individually Santa Clara was led by Fulps 10 points and three assists. Leo grabbed seven rebounds in the first half, adding five points. Sonoma State shot 28 percent, including 25 percent from beyond the arc. Individually Sonoma State was led by Oly Larkin's six points and three rebounds.
To start the second half, Shoji scored under the basket on a pass from Fulps at 19:43. Fulps followed up with her third and fourth threes of the game at 18:53 and 17:53. Santa Clara went up 38-21 on an easy basket by Gipson.
Sonoma State whistled for time at 17:22 after Santa Clara opened the second half on a 10-1 run. After the break, Shoji hit a three at 16:53 to take a 20-point lead, 41-21 Broncos.
The Broncos kept pouring it on as Leo scored and two seconds later Anderson stole the ball in the front court and passed a nifty ball to Fulps under the basket for two. Gipson hit a two-pointer of her own at 15:17 to make it 47-21 Broncos.
Santa Clara led 50-26 at the second media timeout with 11:40 left in the game. Arteivia Lilomaiava scored a basket to make it 54-31 Broncos at 9:55. At the third media timeout at 7:34, the Broncos led 54-33.
Anderson' pass to Gipson under the basket led to another Bronco score at 7:03, 56-33 Broncos. Ricki Radanovich's wide-open three-pointer hit pay dirt at 4:02, putting the Broncos up 59-37. Radanovich hit another three to put the Broncos up 62-39.
Sonoma State went on a 10-0 run to close out the game.