BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Finishing its four-game road trip and playing its last game before a break for the holidays, Santa Clara women's basketball took down CSU Bakersfield by a final of 77-56. The win moves the Broncos to 6-5 overall and drops the Roadrunners to 2-10. The Broncos have 10 days off before returning to the court on Sat., Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. when they host Fresno State.
Ricki Radanovich led Santa Clara on offense by dropping 20 points while shooting a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc. She shot 7-11 from the field and 2-2 from the charity stripe while adding five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Ruta Zurauskyte added 20 points of her own on 7-11 shooting, including a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. She also had seven rebounds and five blocks on the night.
As a team Santa Clara shot 48.2% (27-56) from the field and was 5-8 from downtown. The team grabbed 39 rebounds and forced 25 Roadrunner turnovers. The defense stifled the Bakersfield offense to the tune of a .328 (19-58) shooting percentage, including just .250 (8-32) in the second half.
Janae Coffee led the Roadrunners with 19 points and added a team-best eight rebounds. Batabe Zempare grabbed seven boards and had eight points while Tyonna Outland played a team-high 33 minutes.
"I thought we played really good defense and took their best player out of the game," said Bronco head coach Jennifer Mountain. "I thought our kids showed up at times and we really got the ball out in transition and it really started with our defensive effort which was our goal for the evening. [Ricki Radanovich] had a big game and it started with her defense and she hit some big shots for us. I thought it was a great collective effort from everybody tonight. We shared the ball well, had good inside-outside presence and we had good energy."
Coffee got the scoring going with a lay-up 16 seconds into the game. Coffee was fouled on the shot and nailed the free throw to put Bakersfield up 3-0.
Santa Clara scored its first basket of the game on a layup by Raquel Avila with 19:10 and made the score 3-2.
The teams traded baskets with the Broncos jumping on top 6-5 and 12-11 but the Roadrunners retook a 13-12 lead on a tip-in by Coffee with 12:46 left in the first half.
Zurauskyte knocked down two free throws to give Santa Clara the lead at 14-13 at the 12:30 mark. The Broncos wouldn't look back and would have the lead the rest of the game.
An 8-0 run put Santa Clara up 20-13 but Bakersfield answered with a 5-0 run to get back within two points at 20-18. Brooke Gallaway nailed a three ball with eight and a half minutes remaining and Radanovich and Zurauskyte followed with a three and a layup, respectively.
With 7:35 remaining in the half, the Broncos had a 10-point lead at 28-18 and would continue to add to that lead behind the hot outside shooting of Radanovich.
After the Roadrunners cut the lead to 36-29 on a tip-in by Coffee, Santa Clara went on a 12-4 run over the final 3:54 of the first half behind a pair of fast break layups and solid inside play. At the half the Broncos led 48-33.
Santa Clara shot 54.8% (17-31) from the field in the first half including 4-5 from three and a perfect 10-10 from the line. Radanovich led the way 13 points and Zurauskyte added 10 points and four rebounds. Nici Gilday also had 10 first half points to go with four rebounds.
At the 15:59 mark Zurauskyte made a layup to put Santa Clara up by 20 at 58-38. Jumpers from Meagan Fulps and Radanovich preceded her layup.
Another Radanovich three at 11:21 put Santa Clara ahead by a game-high 27 points at 67-40 but Bakersfield came back with a 10-2 run over 4:30 to make the score 69-50 before a free throw by Ashley Armstrong and back-to-back layups by Zurauskyte got the Bronco offense back on track.
Santa Clara was able to close out the win by knocking down free throws and won the game 77-56.