SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara women's basketball team improved to 12-6 overall and 4-1 in West Coast Conference play with a 61-48 win against Bay Area and WCC rival USF. For the second consecutive game the Broncos have held their opponent to less than 50 points. Santa Clara returns to the court on Thur., Jan. 24 vs. Saint Mary's at the Leavey Center at 7 p.m.
Ricki Radanovich led the way for Santa Clara with 15 points on 4-10 shooting and 3-8 from behind the arc while grabbing five rebounds. Lindsay Leo notched her third double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Santa Clara shot 40 percent (20-50), including 6-19 from deep.
The Dons were led by Alicia Scafidi who tallied 12 points and eight rebounds. Zhane Dikes also chipped in 11 points for San Francisco. USF shot 31.6 percent from the field as the Broncos limited the Dons to just 2-13 from three-point range.
"Our defense is fueling us," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We are doing a good job of taking away people."
Taj Wiinston got the scoring going at 19:09 on a layup and Alicia Scafidi followed with a three to give the Dons an early 5-0 lead.
A layup by Zurauskyte pushed the Santa Clara run to 7-0 but Taylor Proctor of the Dons answered with a layup to retie the game at 7-7.
Nici Gilday put Santa Clara up three with a one from beyond the arc at 13:15 that made the score 10-7.
A 6-0 USF run over a minute put the Dons back on top 13-10 before Arteivia Lilomaiava answered with a layup to get the Broncos back within one at 13-12.
The Broncos went on a 9-0 run over three-and-a-half minutes that pushed the score to 19-13 Santa Clara with 7:41 remaining in the first half.
Scafidi made a layup to end the Santa Clara run at 7:22 but the Broncos responded with a jumper from Fulps that made the score 21-15.
Gilday hit a jumper with four seconds left in the half to put the Broncos up seven at 28-21 heading into the locker room.
Santa Clara shot 41.7% (10-24) from the field in the first half and 2-9 from deep. Gilday led the way for the Broncos with 11 points on 5-5 shooting while grabbing two boards and adding one steal. Fulps scored five points and had two assists while Zurauskyte grabbed a team-best four rebounds while adding four points.
USF shot just 27.3% (9-33) from the field and 1-6 from deep. Zhane Dikes led the Dons with six first half points on 2-7 shooting while Scafidi scored five on 2-4 shooting while also grabbing a team-high five boards. Mel Khlok scored two points on 1-6 from the field but had a team-high three assists.
The first points of the half were scored by Lindsay Leo when she knocked down a pair of free throws at 19:35 to the Broncos up 30-21. Leo added a layup to put the Broncos up 11 points, their first double-digit lead of the day.
Khlok hit a pair of free throws at 17:31 to get USF on the board in the second half and get the deficit down to nine points.
With 13:50 left in the game, a layup by Bailey Barbour made the score 33-25 in favor of Santa Clara.
Radanovich answered on the ensuing Bronco possession with a three from the right side to put Santa Clara up 11 at 36-25.
A layup by Proctor put the Dons on a 6-0 run over 50 seconds to get the game within five points at 36-31 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Scafidi nailed one from deep to cut the Bronco lead to four at 41-37 with 8:43 left in regulation.
At the 5:54 mark Leo made a layup and was fouled. She connected on the free throw to put Santa Clara up 44-37 and followed with a steal and a jumper to extend the lead out to nine points.
The Broncos continued their 8-0 run with a deep three from Fulps to get up by 12 points at 49-37 with 4:59 remaining.
With a minute and a half remaining and the Broncos up 57-46, the Dons began to foul to extend the game. Radanovich stepped to the line and knocked down one of two to put Santa Clara up 58-46.
The Broncos were able to run out the clock and pick up a 61-48 win.