Women's Basketball Travels to Local Rival USF on Saturday
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to get back on track, Santa Clara women's basketball travels to local rival San Francisco on Sat., Feb. 9 for a matchup with the Dons at 2 p.m. Earlier in the season the Broncos took down USF 61-48 behind 15 points from Ricki Radanovich and a double-double from Lindsay Leo. Santa Clara enters the matchup with a 12-11 record overall and a 4-6 mark in West Coast Conference play.
All-time the Broncos are 51-35 vs. the Dons, including 28-18 on the road.
"We're going to go a little bit smaller in the beginning of the game and try to keep the tempo up," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We're also going to rely on some kids that have had some good minutes in practice. I thought Vanessa [Leo] came in and got some valuable minutes. Arteivia [Lilomaiava] is also going to have to step up her game. It's going to be a collective group stepping up and providing different things."
As a team Santa Clara shoots 31.9 percent (511-1309) from the floor and 30.2 percent (116-375) from beyond the arc. The Broncos are led by Radanovich and her 11.2 ppg with a team-leading 54 threes made. Radanovich adds 2.7 rebounds per game and has a team-high 2.0 steals per game. Meagan Fulps is second on the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg and chips in 3.2 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.3 spg. Ruta Zurauskyte leads the team with 7.1 rpg while scoring 9.7 ppg while shooting a team-high 49.4 percent (88-178) from the field. Leo averages 9.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg and leads the Broncos with 2.2 blocks per game. Off the bench Nici Gilday scores 7.0 ppg while grabbing 4.0 rpg and chipping in 2.7 apg.
Freshman Brooke Gallaway scored a career-high 12 points at LMU and V. Leo grabbed a career-best 12 boards in the same game. Mountain liked what she saw from her young players and what it means for helping to replace L. Leo's production.
"Brooke did a great job of being aggressive and going to the basket," said Mountain. "She got her confidence back and got herself to the free throw line. She just worked. I was very pleased with the fact that Vanessa was composed and did a great job on the boards. She got herself to the free throw line as well and knocked those down. I'm very pleased with all of our freshmen and the minutes they gave us yesterday."
San Francisco enters the game with a 9-14 overall record and a 2-8 mark in conference play. It has taken down Boise State, San Jose State and BYU all at home. On the road the Dons have won just twice, at UTSA and at Cal Poly. USF and Santa Clara have played five common non-conference opponents. San Francisco is 2-3 while Santa Clara is 3-2.
USF shoots 39.1 percent (523-1336) from the field as a team and 29.8 percent (112-376) from beyond the arc. The Dons have a -0.9 rebounding margin and a -1.3 turnover margin this year. They have blocked 56 shots to opponents 103.
The Dons are led on offense by Mel Khlok who averages 14.8 ppg, good for fourth in the conference, and 3.9 rpg. Khlok leads the team with 43 threes made and shoots 34.7 percent from deep. She also leads USF with 2.2 spg and 3.2 apg. Zhane Dikes adds 10.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg while placing second on the team with 2.0 spg. Alicia Scafidi leads USF with 7.0 rpg while scoring 5.4 ppg.
"We have to do a good job of containing Khlok and limiting transition buckets," said Mountain. "We did a pretty good job on her the first time around. She has a complete game and can shoot the three or get to the rim. Keeping her out of the paint is number one. Number two is making her take contested jump shots or make decisions on the move."