SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For just the third time in 21 meetings, San Jose State University beat Santa Clara University in women's basketball, 74-53. The visiting Spartans received 28 points from Croatian shooting guard Sara Plavljanin.
Plavljanin made seven 3s, one shy of a school record for San Jose State (2-8). The Spartans pick up their second win in 10 games under new head coach Tim La Kose.
Santa Clara (6-5) lost for the first time at home. The Broncos have now dropped four straight since starting 6-1. The Broncos cut a 15-point halftime deficit to five midway through the second half but could not complete the comeback.
Archbishop Mitty graduate Lindsay Leo pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds and scored 12 points for SCU. Meagan Fulps (14), Tyler Woods (11) and Alyssa Shoji (10) also finished with double-figures in points for the Broncos.
The Spartans got off to a fast start, making their first two 3s to jump out to a 16-6 lead. In the meantime, Santa Clara made just 5 of 24 shots through the first 13 minutes.
However when Fulps drained a baseline triple with 5:20 left in the first half and Shoji dropped in a basket on the next SCU possession, the Spartan lead had been trimmed to 24-20.
Plavljanin's third trey bookended a 9-0 SJSU run inside the five-minute mark prior to halftime. She added another right before the break to give the Spartans a 37-22 advantage at the intermission.
There was a series of game-clock outages at the Leavey Center, causing delays during both halves. Once the game got moving for good Santa Clara found themselves down 12, 41-29 with 18:10 remaining.
The game tightened up midway through the second half and a lay up by Bronco freshman Nici Gilday got Santa Clara within five, 47-42. Gilday, last year's San Jose Mercury News 'Senior of the Year' while at Presentation High School, made her first collegiate start Saturday night.
But Plavljanin continued to pour in shots from outside, making two more triples and getting help inside from teammate Brittany Johnson to get the lead back to double-digits. The Spartans led 62-47 with 4:45 to play and would not look back from there.
GAME NOTES: The Broncos entered the game 18-2 against the Spartans in the previous 20 meetings ... the two local schools have played every year, except one, dating back to the 1975-76 season … San Jose State wins it first road game since Jan. 2 of 2010.