SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Opening its home slate for the 2013-14 season, Santa Clara women's basketball hosts local rival San Jose State Tues., Nov. 12 and on Sun., Nov. 17 Santa Clara welcomes UC Riverside to the Leavey Center at 2 p.m. Santa Clara will be collecting donations for the Red Cross/Typhoon Haiyan Efforts during both the men's and women's games vs. San Jose State on Tuesday.
"I thought we played pretty well for thirty-eight minutes in the opener," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We rebounded the ball very well on both ends of the floor and shared the ball really well. We executed offensively and got some people looks that need to score the ball for us. We just didn't get stops when we needed to and made a couple mistakes. For thirty-eight minutes I was pretty pleased with the effort that night and hopefully we learn from it and move forward."
Santa Clara dropped its season-opener 77-70 at UNLV. The Broncos shot 43.8% (28-64) from the field and 25.0% (6-24) from deep. The team had 53 rebounds, 22 turnovers, 20 assists, one block and two steals.
Three freshmen saw action with Jo Paine and Montana Walters making the start for Santa Clara. Paine added nine points and seven rebounds while Walters scored nine points, five assists and six rebounds. Marie Bertholdt came off the bench and scored five points while going 3-4 from the charity stripe. Bertholdt also had four rebounds and an assist.
"I think they are mature freshmen," said Mountain. "All of our freshmen, for the most part, have handled the ability to come in and produce a little bit. I expect those three to play quite a bit of minutes the entire season. We have made a couple freshman mistakes here and there, which is to be expected, but I'm really happy with them."
The Broncos are 28-22 all-time vs. San Jose State. Last year Santa Clara topped the Spartans 62-47 on the road.
San Jose State started its season with a 100-78 win at home vs. San Francisco State. The Spartans shot 46.2% (36-78) from the field and 39.4% (13-33) from downtown. They had 37 rebounds, 20 turnovers, 23 assists, five blocks and 11 steals.
"The style of play that San Jose State is going to play is very up tempo and they are really trying to outscore their opponents," said Mountain. "We are going to have to defend. I like the fact that we can run with them because I think we will be good at that pace, but it is going to be whether or not we get stops defensively and how good of a job we do on the boards. We also have to watch out for foul trouble. We need to keep our hands up and play with our feet because that has been an issue."
Jasmine Smith led the way with a double-double, 25 points and 11 rebounds. Classye James scored 20 points on 6-10 shooting with six boards. Ta'Rea Cunnigan scored 17 points and grabbed five boards while Rebecca Woodberry also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Britta Hall led the team with seven assists and scored 12 points on 4-5 shooting from deep.
"There is no one person we have to focus on, as much as the style of play," said Mountain. "They are pushing in transition, they are pressing for 40 minutes and everyone has the green light. We have to do a really good job on Cunnigan since she is the returning leading scorer. Classye James and Woodberry are coming in as people that have transferred in and are now eligible. They have a lot of different weapons. I don't think they finish particularly well, but the style of play is the issue. So we have to control the tempo and make sure we rebound."
Santa Clara is 1-0 all-time vs. UC Riverside. The only meeting between the two teams came in the 1979-80 season. Santa Clara won the game 61-47.
UC Riverside has started the season 0-2 with a loss at Iowa 70-56 and vs. Dayton 89-54. The Highlanders have been outscored by 24.5 points per game. They are shooting 33.3% (41-123) from the field but just 12.9% (4-31) from three. UC Riverside has been outrebounded 86-80 while turning the ball over 40 times and forcing just 29.
Brittany Crain leads the team with 16 ppg and 8.0 rebounds per game. Crain is shooting 37.0%(10-27) from the field and 90.9% (10-11) from the free throw line while averaging 34 minutes per game. Kiara Harewood is second on the team with 10.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Harewood leads the team with a 47.1% (8-17) shooting percentage. Simone DeCoud and Natasha Hadley are each averaging 8.5 ppg while grabbing 5.0 and 4.5 rpg respectively. DeCoud leads the team with 3.5 assists per game and 2.5 steals per game.