Santa Clara Drops a Heartbreaker at USD, 56-50

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – San Diego closed out the game on an 18-4 run to overcome a late deficit and knock off visiting Santa Clara 56-50 in West Coast Conference women's basketball action Thursday night.

Santa Clara (8-14; 1-8 WCC) used 13 points from Meagan Fulps and a career-high nine rebounds from Telisha Anderson to build a 46-38 lead with 8:10 left. Anderson also scored nine points for a Bronco team that could not avoid a seventh-straight loss.

San Diego (16-5; 7-2 WCC) did not make a three-point basket and shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half, but the Toreros were able to fall back on their WCC-leading defense and 22 points from all-league senior guard Dominique Connors to stay among the top teams in the WCC standings.

Inspired play from Anderson, who scored seven points off the bench in the first half, helped the Broncos overcome a 7-minute scoreless stretch and a 15-4 disadvantage on the offensive glass to end the half on a 14-2 run and lead at the break, 29-27.

The Broncos are the best 3-point shooting team in the WCC at 7.7 makes per game and when Fulps rolled in a triple from the right wing with 13:16 left, SCU was up by five. The lead grew to seven at 45-38 when Anderson provided a put-back basket after one of her nine rebounds.

Anderson's effort off the bench evened out USD's first-half rebounding edge and with 6:34 to play the Broncos held a 46-42 lead. But following a baseline jumper from Connors, who scored 12 of her 22 in the second half, the lead was cut to two.

Sensing a momentum swing in front of their home crowd, USD went to Connors again to try an even the game moments later, but her pull-up bounced off the rim. But when Connors came up with a steal and fed senior classmate Morgan Woodrow for a fastbreak layup, the game was tied 46-46.

The surge continued and hoops from Izzy Chilcott and Klara Wischer capped off a 10-0 USD run. Before Nici Gilday scored two clutch points for Santa Clara, USD had gone up by four, 50-46, with 1:59 to play.

Lindsay Leo scored with 1:04 left to get SCU back within two and the Broncos had possession with a chance to tie or take a lead with 40 seconds on the clock. SCU again went to Leo underneath but Woodrow came up with a steal. Woodrow missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity, giving the Broncos new life, but this time down Connors picked off an SCU pass with 11 seconds remaining and sealed it with two free throws.