SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off of a defensive battle against Saint Mary', Santa Clara women's basketball returns to the floor on Sat., Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. to take on Portland at the Leavey Center. The Broncos fell to Saint Mary's 56-50 on Jan. 24 to move to 12-7 overall and 4-2 in West Coast Conference play.
In the first match-up of the year between the two teams, Santa Clara came away with a 59-58 win in Portland behind 15 points from Nici Gilday. The Broncos held Kari Luttinen, Portland's leading scorer, to just eight points.
"Our game plan worked well on Luttinen in our first match up," said Mountain. "We limited touches and made them shoot contested jump shots. When she has open looks to the basket she's dangerous so we have to make sure she takes contested shots."
To be successful against Portland again Mountain and the Broncos know that they need to play their game and make sure to take advantage of opportunities on the offensive end.
"We need to slow the game down and play the game at our pace," said Mountain. "We also need to play defense like we have been. It's also important that we limit our turnovers and be more efficient offensively. We have to be able to finish plays on the offensive end. We're getting opportunities to score and we're not taking advantage of it. We need to play well on both ends of the floor."
The Broncos are shooing .397 (437-1101) from the field and .313 (98-313) from deep. The team is led by Meagan Fulps who is scoring 11.4 points per game and pulling down 3.2 rebounds per game. Fulps shoots .351 (72-205) from the field and .327 (34-104) from three. Ricki Radanovich leads the team with 43 threes made and 131 attempted while shooing .356 (72-202) from the field. Her 43 threes made also tops in the conference. Radanovich averages 10.9 ppg and a team-best 2.2 steals per game. Lindsay Leo is tied for the team-lead with 7.2 rpg, fifth in the WCC, while scoring 9.9 ppg. She is shooting .424 (64-151) from the field and a conference-high .851 (40-47) from the charity stripe. Her 1.8 blocks per game is second in the WCC. Ruta Zurauskyte is tied with Leo with 7.2 rpg while scoring 9.4 ppg. She leads the team in field goal percentage at .497 (72-145). Gilday leads the team with 3.1 assists per game and is scoring 7.9 ppg coming off the bench.
"Our girls are doing a great job defensively," said Mountain. "The whole scheme is working and the players have bought into what we're trying to do from day one. They're playing really hard, our help is good and we're rebounding the ball a little better. We have to put two sides of the ball together though."
Portland enters the game with a 6-13 overall record and a 1-5 mark in conference play. The Pilots picked up a non-conference win vs. Oregon on Dec. 21 68-49 and at Idaho 62-56 on Nov. 18. The lone conference win was on Jan. 19 at LMU 63-59.
As a team, Portland shoots .381 (422-1108) from the field and .286 (93-325) from deep. Luttinen leads the team with 12.5 ppg and grabs 4.6 rpg. Annika Holopainen is averaging 9.8 ppg, second on the team, coming off the bench with 3.4 rpg. Cassandra Thompson is second on the Pilots with 6.9 rpg while scoring 8.8 ppg. She leads the team in shooting with a .500 (70-140) mark. The team's leading rebounder is Amy Pupa with 7.3 per game and she is scoring an even 5.0 ppg. Jasmine Wooton scores 8.2 ppg and adds a team-best 3.4 apg.