January 14, 2011

Streaking Broncos Deny Toreros, 62-57

Post Game Interview with Ricki Radanovich

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
The Santa Clara University women distributed a season-high 17 assists, scoring in the paint and from the perimeter to win their fourth straight, beating San Diego 62-57 Thursday night in West Coast Conference play at the Leavey Center.

Senior forward Lena Gipson eclipsed the 1,000-point and 800-rebound milestones for her career, scoring a team-high 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. She becomes one of two players in school history to have totaled 800 rebounds – accomplishing the feat in just two-plus seasons.

Santa Clara (6-10; 2-0 WCC) has won four straight and 6 of 8. Sophomore guard Meagan Fulps provided key baskets for the Broncos and finished with 16 points. Alyssa Shoji had six assists for the third consecutive game and Ricki Radanovich added four steals.

"We have people stepping up and making plays and playing with confidence," said third year Bronco head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Sharing the basketball is something we've been talking about everyday, getting better movement within our offensive, inside-out. It's creating more shots for us and we're getting wide-open looks because of it."

Fulps dropped in one of her three 3s and Gipson followed with a lay up in the lane during a second-half surge that allowed Santa Clara to lead by as many as 10 with 9:40 left.

San Diego (9-7; 0-3 WCC) received 19 points from Sam Child and 17 from all-league guard Dominique Conners. The Toreros got as close as three in the closing moments but were denied their first conference win.

Aside from Child, who had 15 of her 19 points in the first half, the Torero offense was limited to 2 of 17 shooting to begin the game.

Santa Clara closed the half on a 9-0 run, with Gipson scoring five-straight and Fulps converting a 4-point play on a made 3 from the wing just before the break. SCU led 30-28 at the intermission.

A frantic pace to begin the second half saw Fulps make a baseline 3 and score going to the rim, putting SCU up 38-34. Radanovich added a triple and Lindsay Leo scored in transition allowing the Bronco lead to grow to seven, 43-36, with 13:17 left.

"I thought we controlled the clock in the second half," said Mountain about her team, who never trailed following halftime. "I was really proud of our defensive effort, especially in the beginning of the second half."

With 2:53 remaining, San Diego had a chance to cut into a 56-49 deficit but Fulps came up with a steal. A pull-up jumper from Conners with 1:21 to play made it a three-point game but the Broncos held on for the win. SCU improves to 2-0 in the WCC for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Next up is WHITE OUT NIGHT at the Leavey Center and a home game with local rival St. Mary's (10-8; 2-1 WCC) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Gaels defeated USF 73-51 on Thursday.