SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Playing the first official game of the 2013-14 season, Santa Clara women's basketball fell at UNLV by a final of 77-70. The loss puts the Broncos at 0-1 overall while the Rebels are now 1-0.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Tues., Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the home opener at the Leavey Center. The men's team will face San Jose State in the second game of the double header at 8:15 pm.
Santa Clara shot 43.8% (28-64) from the field and 25.0% (6-24) from deep. The Broncos had 53 rebounds, 22 turnovers, 20 assists, one block and two steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 22 points on 9-20 shooting while adding eight rebounds. Ruta Zurauskyte scored 10 points while Jo Paine added nine points and seven rebounds.
UNLV shot 37.5% (27-72) from the field and 18.2% (2-11) from three. The Rebels had 41 rebounds, 12 turnovers, 13 assists, one block and 16 steals. Alana Cesarz led the offense with 16 points on 6-17 shooting with seven boards. Danielle Miller had 16 points and five boards while Rejane Verin added 15 points and nine rebounds.
After UNLV jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, Santa Clara went on a quick 6-0 run over 40 seconds but the Rebels answered with a tip-in and a three to make the score 8-6 at the first media timeout.
The Rebels pushed their lead out to seven at 16-9 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the half on a layup by Miller. The Broncos responded with two quick baskets that forced UNLV to call a timeout and regroup.
Katie Hawkins knocked down a jumper to put Santa Clara up by one but three consecutive free throws put the Rebels back on top. Santa Clara then went on a 10-0 run over three minutes to go out on top 29-21. Gilday scored six points to lead the run. The run finally ended when Amie Callaway made a layup with 4:52 remaining.
The Broncos then went on a 6-0 run over two minutes to get their lead to double-digits for the first time at 35-25. The Rebels would add a tip-in at the first half buzzer to make the score 36-29 at the break.
UNLV got within three out of halftime but Paine answered with a layup. After another bucket by UNLV, Ricki Radanovich nailed a three to make the score 41-35 with 17:25 remaining.
The Broncos went on a quick 6-0 run on threes from Montana Walters and Gilday but UNLV answered with a pair of buckets to make the score 51-46 Santa Clara with 12:24 remaining in the game.
With 10 minutes remaining in the half, UNLV got within two points at 53-51 on a three by Miller. The Rebels tied the game at 9:14 on a layup by Verin. After a Santa Clara timeout, Gilday knocked down another three.
The teams stayed within one possession until Walters nailed a three at 5:57 to make the score 63-59 but UNLV answer back with a layup. Zurauskyte followed with a layup of her own and Walters hit another three to get the Broncos out on top by seven.
The Rebels pulled within three, 70-67, on a layup at 2:23 and would go on a 12-0 run over the final 2:23 that was fueled by Verin. The Broncos were unable to score during the last 2:35 of the game and UNLV took the 77-70 win.