SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Trying to nail-down the fifth seed in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas, Santa Clara women's basketball beat Pepperdine by a final of 64-52. Santa Clara is now 14-13 overall and 6-8 in the WCC while Pepperdine moves to 4-21 overall and 1-13 in conference.
Santa Clara returns to the court on Thur., Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary's in the final road contest of the 2012-13 regular season.
"Take away the last six minutes and I thought we played pretty well today," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We had a good combination of inside and outside presence. Meagan [Fulps] was tremendous in the first half and in the last two games has really stepped up her offensive play. What you take away from this game is how they upped the pressure on us a little bit at the end there. This game also gives us a little bit of confidence next week in two games we can be very competitive in and I think we're going to play well."
Santa Clara shot 36.7 percent (22-60) from the field and 7-21 from deep. Meagan Fulps led all scorers with 23 points on 8-18 shooting from the field and 5-11 from downtown. Her five threes tied a career-high. Ruta Zurauskyte added 16 points on 5-8 shooting and eight rebounds while Brooke Gallaway scored eight and had four steals. Arteivia Lilomaiava added seven rebounds off of the bench.
Pepperdine shot 31.5 percent (17-54) from the floor and 3-15 from downtown. Ea Shoustari led the Waves with 11 points on 5-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Kelsey Patrick had 10 points on 4-8 from the field. Keitra Wallace grabbed a team-high six boards while scoring nine points. The Waves leading scorer Shay Cooney-Williams scored just three points.
Fulps hit the first three of the game at the 13:28 mark to put the Broncos up 9-6 in the early going of a defensive struggle.
Santa Clara went on an 8-2 run over 2:14 to extend its lead out to 14-8. Fulps hit her second three of the game to cap the run. Amanda Lovely knocked down two free throws to put an end to the run.
Fulps hit her third three and Ricki Radanovich added one from deep to put Santa Clara on an 11-3 run over three minutes that built the lead out to 25-13 with 7:19 left in the half.
Raquel Avila stole a pass and went coast-to-coast to get Santa Clara back on top by 10 at 4:40 by a score of 27-17.
Lovely knocked down a three to get Pepperdine within five at 27-22 right out of the under four media timeout with 2:38 left on the clock.
Fulps knocked down another three, her fourth, with 1:21 on the clock to make the score 30-22. With the clock running down in the first half Fulps hit another three off of an offensive rebound to put the Bronco sup 10, 33-23, heading into the locker room.
Santa Clara shot 38.7 percent (12-31) from the field in the first half and 6-16 from three. Fulps led all scorers with 17 points on 6-10 shooting, including 5-9 from deep. Raquel Avila and Zurauskyte each added four points and had three and one rebounds, respectively. Ricki Radanovich and Lilomaiava had a team-high four first half rebounds. Radanovich added three points and a team-high three assists.
Shoustari led Pepperdine with seven points on 3-4 shooting while pulling down three boards. Patrick had six points and a team-best four boards while the Broncos were able to shutout the Waves leading scorer Shay Cooney-Williams. The Waves shot 30.8 percent from the field and 2-10 from deep.
Zurauskyte scored the first five Santa Clara points of the second half on a free throw and two buckets in the paint. Her second bucket made the score 41-29 Santa Clara with 16:43 remaining in regulation.
Gallaway was the first Bronco to score other than Zurauskyte in the second half when she got the roll on a three from the corner to put Santa Clara up 15 with just under 16 minutes left.
Cooney-Williams scored her first points of the game with 13:13 remaining on a deep three from the right elbow that made the score 46-34.
Santa Clara went on an 8-0 run over 4:32 to make the lead 54-34 with 6:35 left in the game. Pepperdine was 0-14 from the field during the same stretch. The Waves finally scored on a jumper by Kelsey Brockway.
The Waves answered with an 8-0 run of their own over 1:22 to get within 12 at 54-42 with 5:14 left on the clock. Zurauskyte ended the run with a pair of free throws.
Pepperdine got the lead down to single-digits with a steal Shoustari and a coast-to-coast layup that made the score 58-50 Broncos. At that point the Waves were on a 6-0 run over 56 seconds.
Zurauskyte ended the run with a layup to make the score 60-50 and Santa Clara was able to hold on to seal the 64-52 victory.