February 14, 2013

Women's Basketball Falls in Utah to BYU

PROVO, Utah – Coming off of a big win on the road in the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara women's basketball (13-12; 5-7) fell at BYU (17-7; 8-3) 65-42 Thursday night in Provo.

Santa Clara takes the rest of the week off and returns to the court on Thur., Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. vs. Gonzaga. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

"They started hitting a ton of outside shots and we didn't respond by hitting shots on the offensive end," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "They picked up the intensity and we had Ruta [Zurauskyte] in foul trouble. I thought our defense for the most part was decent but we gave up too many open threes in the beginning of that second half."

Nici Gilday led the Broncos with 10 points on 4-12 shooting while grabbing four rebounds and two steals. Katie Hawkins scored a career-high nine points on 2-5 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the charity stripe. Ruta Zurauskyte added eight points and a team-high six rebounds. The Broncos shot 24.6 percent (15-61) from the field and 2-18 from three.

Jennifer Hamson scored a game-high 12 points on 6-11 shooting while pulling down 16 rebounds. Haley Steed added 10 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks while Xojian Harry scored nine points. Ashley Garfield scored 10 points and had seven rebounds. Kim Beeston hit two threes and finished the game with eight points and four rebounds. BYU shot 43.9 percent (25-57) from the floor and 6-15 from downtown.

Santa Clara jumped out to an early lead and remained in the lead or tied until the 7:55 mark in the first half. The Broncos biggest lead was four points at 10-6 when Gilday knocked down a jumper at 10:07.

BYU grabbed its first lead at 7:55 on a pair of free throws by Garfield that made the score 12-10 in favor of the Cougars. BYU used the free throws to go on a 9-0 run over nearly seven minutes. The run was capped by Beeston who nailed a three at 2:07 to make the score 19-10 BYU.

Santa Clara scored its first basket in over nine minutes with 55 seconds remaining in the half on a jumper from Gilday. Gilday would add another jumper as time expired to send the teams into the locker room with BYU leading 19-14.

The Broncos shot just 22.2 percent (6-27) from the field in the first half and were 0-8 from three. Gilday led the offense with eight points and tied for the team-lead with two rebounds. She shot 4-8 from the floor in the first half and added two steals. Zurauskyte added six points on 2-4 shooting and 2-2 from the line. The rest of the Bronco team was 0-15 from the field but seven Broncos had two rebounds apiece.

BYU shot 33.3 percent (8-24) from the field in the first half and was 1-7 from beyond the arc. Garfield scored a team-high six points on 2-3 shooting while pulling down three rebounds. Morgan Bailey and Steed each had four points while Steed added a game-high four first half assists. Hamson had a game-best six rebounds in the first half.

Raquel Avila made a layup right out the lockerroom, but BYU followed with a 6-0 run over 1:45 on four points from Hamson. Avila hit another jumper at 17:36 to end the run and make the score 25-18.

The Cougars would go on an 11-0 run over the next 3:51 to extend their lead out to 36-18 with 13:29 remaining in regulation. Four different BYU players scored during the run, led by Hamson's four points. Zurauskyte ended the run with a layup at 11:48.

Santa Clara got within 13 points at 37-24 but BYU went on a quick 6-0 over just 34 seconds when Kim Beeston and Morgan Bailey knocked down threes on consecutive possessions to make the score 43-24 with 9:45 remaining.

The Cougars stretched the lead out to as many as 20 points on a three by Stephanie Seaborn at 7:15 but Meagan Fulps answered with a three of her own.  Santa Clara got the deficit down to 14 when Ricki Radanovich nailed a three with 4:33 left in the game.

The Cougars, however, would end the game on a 7-2 run and come away with the 65-42 victory.