CEDAR CITY, Utah – Kathy Willinsky scored a career-high 18 points and Lena Gipson posted her fourth consecutive double-double but Santa Clara was denied its first win, dropping an 80-67 decision to Southern Utah Monday.
Gipson had 15 points and 12 rebounds to move into second place on the university's all-time rebounding list with 714. Willinsky went 5 of 8 from the floor and the Broncos (0-8) committed just 15 turnovers.
However, Southern Utah's Challis Pascucci stole the show, going 7 of 13 from the floor in the first half to score 22 of her 28 points before the break. Pascucci finished with 14 rebounds as the T'Birds dominated the glass, collecting 52 on the night – the most by an SCU opponent this season.
It was Pascucci's second-straight 28-point game. The Thunderbirds (5-5) are now on a three-game win streak.
Santa Clara led by four, 19-15, midway through the first half after Meagan Fulps swished in a trey. Meanwhile, Willinsky and Ashley Armstrong were combining for 14 points in the opening period. Armstrong finished with 11, her third consecutive game in double-figures.
Fulps' triple was one of just five for the Broncos on the afternoon. SCU shot 29.4 percent (5 of 17) from 3-point range and 35.7 percent (25 of 70) from the field.
SUU's 39-30 halftime lead was sliced to three immediately following the intermission on a lay up by Gipson.
Leading 56-51 with 8:17 left, SUU went on a 16-6 run to assume command late in the second half.
The Broncos will return to action at home Thursday, December 16 against Pacific. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.