February 9, 2013

Broncos WIn on the Road at USF Behind Gilday's Double-Double

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – In the middle of its three-game road trip, Santa Clara women's basketball (13-11; 5-6 WCC) beat local rival San Francisco (9-15; 2-9 WCC) by a final of 69-64. It was the fifth conference win for Santa Clara this year, matching its total from last season.

The Broncos return to the floor on Thur., Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at BYU.

"This was a battle," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "I thought we came out and played well in that first half. You knew they were going to make a run on their home floor but our kids stuck with it and made plays when they had to. We went a little smaller to start the game and did some things we talked about in practice. The players hit some shots and were attacking the rim."

Santa Clara was led by the first career double-double from Nici Gilday who scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds. Ruta Zurauskyte led the Broncos with 16 points on 8-11 shooting and had five boards. Meagan Fulps and Raquel Avila were the other two Broncos in double-figures with 10 points each. Fulps also grabbed six boards and Gilday added a team-best five steals, The Broncos shot 44.6 percent (29-65) from the field and 6-16 from downtown.

The Dons were led on offense by Mel Khlok who scored 16 on 5-12 shooting and 1-4 from deep and had a team-best six rebounds. Taylor Proctor scored 14 points on 6-12 shooting with five rebounds. Zhane Dikes and Alexa Hardick scored 12 points each. San Francisco shot 42.1 percent (24-57) from the field and 7-19 from three.

After USF scored the first bucket of the game, Santa Clara went on a 13-0 run over 2:53 to jump out to an early 13-2 lead. Zurauskyte hit three layups and Radanovich drained a three to fuel the run. The run ended when Khlok went to the line and knocked down one of two to get the score to 13-3 Broncos.

Brooke Gallaway entered the game and promptly hit two threes that helped put Santa Clara on a 10-0 run over 1:15 to push the lead out to 18 points at 23-5. Nici Gilday stole the ball and used a pretty give-and-go with Raquel Avila on a fast break to keep the run going. Taylor Proctor made a layup to put an end to the run at 12:01 but Gilday grabbed her own miss on the ensuing possession and pushed the scored to 25-7 in favor of SCU.

Santa Clara continued the offensive push with a three by Radanovich and a layup when Vanessa Leo got wide open on an in bounds play. Zurauskyte made a jump-hook in the lane at 9:25 to put the Broncos on a 7-0 run but Alexa Hardick knocked down a three to make the score 32-15 with 9:07 remaining in the half.

The Dons went on an 8-0 run over 1:46 behind six points from Proctor that was capped with a three at 4:34 to make the score 38-24 Broncos. Gilday knocked down a jumper in the lane on the next Bronco possession to end the run.

The Dons would score five unanswered points to get within 11 at 40-29 with 1:37 left in the half before Katie Hawkins made a layup to get the Broncos back out to a 13 point lead.

Santa Clara turned the ball over in the back court and Khlok fired up a shot trying to beat the clock and was fouled with 0.7 left. She made two of three and the Broncos took a 44-32 lead into the locker room.

Zurauskyte led the way for Santa Clara on offense in the first half with 12 points on 6-7 shooting while grabbing three rebounds. Radanovich and Gilday each had eight first half points while Gilday added a team-best four first half rebounds. Gallaway was a perfect 2-2 from the field for six points. Santa Clara shot 62.5 percent (20-32) as a team from the floor and 4-9 from beyond the arc. The Broncos dominated in the paint, outscoring the Dons 32-12.

Proctor scored 10 first half points to lead the Dons on 4-5 shooting. Khlok had eight points while Zhane Dikes had six. Alicia Scafidi grabbed a team-high three rebounds in the first half. The Dons shot 42.3 percent (11-26) from the field and 3-9 from deep.

Right out of half time the Dons cut the lead to single-digits at 44-35 on a three from the left corner by Taj Winston. After the teams traded baskets, Hardick hit another three for the Dons that made the score 46-40 with 17:31 left in regulation.

With the lead down to five at 51-46, Khlok made a layup and was fouled on a breakaway. She converted the three-point play and Hardick hit one from deep to give the Dons their first lead since it was 2-0. USF was on a 10-0 run over 2:55 before Gallaway was fouled attempting a three and made two of three to put the Broncos back on top 53-52 with 12:47 left.

The Broncos went on a 9-0 run over 3:20 that made the score 60-52 and included a three by Meagan Fulps. The run ended with a layup by Dikes at 8:54.

The Dons cut the lead to two points at 63-61 on a jumper by Scafidi with 2:42 remaining in the game.

Zurauskyte made a shot in the lane with the shot clock down to four seconds to put Santa Clara back up four points but Hardick hit her fourth three of the game to get the game to 65-64 with one minute remaining in regulation.

After a layup by Avila put Santa Clara back up by three, Dikes missed a three pointer that would have tied the game and the San Francisco was forced to foul with 10 seconds left in the game. Avila stepped to the line and hit both to get the Broncos up 69-64 where the game would end.