SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Returning home after a 3-1 road trip through California, Santa Clara women's basketball took down Fresno State by a final of 58-53. The Broncos used a 33-22 second half to erase a six-point halftime deficit. Santa Clara is now 7-5 and Fresno State is 7-5.
Santa Clara returns to the court on Mon., Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. vs. UNLV in the final non-conference game of the season.
The Broncos shot 40.7% (22-54) from the field, 4-15 from beyond the arc and a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe. The defense forced 18 turnovers and the team had nine steals. Lindsay Leo and Meagan Fulps led the way for Santa Clara with 13 points each while Leo was 5-11 from the field and Fulps was 3-7 and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Ruta Zurauskyte pulled down a game-best 12 boards while also scoring six points.
Ki-Ki- Moore had a game-high 18 points on 6-17 shooting and 2-4 from downtown. Moore also led the team with eight rebounds and five steals. Bree Farley was second on the team with 11 points and added three rebounds. As a team the Bulldogs shot 37.9% (22-58) from the field and were 4-13 from deep but just 5-9 from the free throw line.
"We were able to hit some shots coming out of halftime," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "In the first half we didn't shoot the ball well, especially from three. In the second half Ricki [Radanovich] hit some big threes for us and so did Meagan [Fulps]. I thought our post players were big as well. We got some good touches and it opened things up for everybody."
Moore got the scoring started at the 17:38 mark on a beautiful back-cut on the left side where she made a layup to put Fresno State up 2-0 early.
Zurauskyte got the Broncos on the board at 16:11 with a layup off a nice lob pass from Raquel Avila to make the score 4-2.
Moore answered the next time down the court to get the Bulldog lead back to four with a couple of free throws but Fulps nailed a jumper from the baseline at 15:46 to keep the Broncos down just two.
The teams traded baskets until Leo made a steal in the paint to give Santa Clara the ball. Leo got the ball on the offensive end and made a jump hook in the paint to even the score at 8-8 with 14:09 left.
Farley nailed a three on the next Fresno State possession to put the Bulldogs back up 11-8. The next Fresno State possession Farley got behind the defense on a fast break and made a layup to put her team up 13-8.
With 11:38 left in the first half and Fresno State up 13-10, Leo blocked her 83rd career shot, moving her into second place all-time at Santa Clara by herself. The career leader, Annie Garrison (1997-2001), has 207.
A three pointer by Moore at 5:57 extended the Fresno State lead to eight points at 22-14.
The teams continued to trade baskets and with the score 26-18, Leo made a layup to push the score to 26-20. Fulps nailed a three at 1:49 to get the Broncos back within three at 26-23.
Leo continued the 7-0 Bronco run by hitting two free throws and cutting the Fresno State lead to just one at 26-25. Over the 2:55 Santa Clara's defense held the Bulldogs without a field goal.
Farley made a jumper to get the lead back out to three and Santa Clara turned the ball over to give Fresno State the last possession of the half. Moore nailed one from downtown to end the first half with the score 31-25.
Leo led the Bronco offense with 10 points in the first half on 4-8 shooting from the field and 2-2 from the charity stripe. Zurauskyte added six points and Fulps had five. Zurausktye grabbed a team-high five rebounds and Leo had four. The Broncos shot 36.7% (11-30) from the field but just 1-8 from three.
Moore who scored a game-high 12 first half points led Fresno State and Farley added nine. Moore was 4-10 from the field and Farley was 4-7. The Bulldogs shot 40.6% (13-32) from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc.
The Broncos had possession right out of the half and Raquel Avila made a layup with nine left on the shot clock to get Santa Clara back within four.
Fresno State answered at the 18:20 mark on a steal by Rosie Moult and a layup by Moore for its first points of the second half.
Leo connected on an and-one the next time down the floor to make the score 33-30 in favor of Fresno State. A steal by Avila on the other end led to Fulps being fouled attempting a game-tying three. Fulps knocked down all three from the line to tie the game at 33-33 with 17:41 remaining in the game.
The Broncos scored six points in 20 seconds to even the game.
Alex Sheedy ended the 6-0 Bronco run with a layup to put her team back on top at 35-33.
After a Bulldog free throw, Fulps knocked down another three at the 15:41 mark to tie the game again at 36-36.
Santa Clara took its first lead of the day on a layup by Arteivia Lilomaiava with 9:16 remaining in the second half at 42-40 and promptly forced Fresno State to call a timeout.
Radanovich pushed the Bronco lead to 48-43 with back-to-back three pointers at 7:44 and 6:46 around a jumper for Farley at 6:21.
A 10-2 Bronco run over three and a half minutes put Santa Clara up by a game-high nine points at 52-43 with 4:31 remaining in regulation.
After Sheedy ended the run with a jumper to make the score 52-45 at 4:02, Moore went to the stripe and cut the deficit to six by making one of two. She made a steal and went coast to coast for a layup that made the score 52-48.
Fresno State cut the lead to three points at 56-53 with a three by Rosie Moult with 50 seconds remaining but Nici Gilday knocked down a jumper in the lane as the shot clock expired.
Santa Clara played good defense and was able to seal a 58-53 win.