SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the midst of a four-game, three-weekend road trip, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to Fresno State by a final of 69-49. The loss puts the Broncos at 2-6 overall while the Bulldogs are now 5-3.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Sat., Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. Pacific at Utah Valley.
Santa Clara shot 33.3% (17-51) from the field and 18.8% (3-16) from three. The Broncos had 32 rebounds, 11 assists, 21 turnovers, two blocks and 13 steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 13 points and three steals with two boards and two assists. Jo Paine scored 10 points with three rebounds while Vanessa Leo led the team with eight rebounds while chipping in five points.
Fresno State shot 39.1% (25-64) from the field and 29.0% (9-31) from three. The Bulldogs had 47 rebounds, 17 assists, 19 turnovers, two blocks and 10 steals. Moriah Faulk led the offense with a game-high 15 points on 6-15 shooting and a game-best 13 rebounds. Taylor Thompson added 12 points and five assists while Alex Sheedy scored 12 points and had five rebounds.
Fresno State started the game on a 10-0 run over the first 2:40 behind five points from Sheedy. Santa Clara scored its first bucket at the 7:10 mark on a layup by Gilday.
After falling behind 14-5 with 15:23 remaining in the first half, the Broncos went on a 7-0 run over two and a half minutes to get within two points at 14-12. Four different Broncos scored during the run that ended on a pair of free throws by Jacina Vandenberg at 11:44.
The Bulldogs would take over the final 8:19 of the first half after Leo knocked down a jumper to make the score 19-16 Fresno State. Santa Clara went four and a half minutes without a point while committing four turnovers. Fresno State's 9-0 run ended when Brooke Gallaway made one of two from the free throw line at the 3:45 mark.
Fresno State would continue its run the remainder of the half. When the first half buzzer sounded, the Bulldogs were on a 17-1 run and held a 36-17 lead. The Broncos hadn't made a field goal since 8:40 remaining in the half.
Santa Clara shot 28.6% (6-21) from the field and 12.5% (1-8) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 13 rebounds, five assists, 12 turnovers, and four steals. Gilday led the offense with four points while Leo had three rebounds.
Fresno State shot 40.6% (13-32) from the field and 29.4% (5-17) from three in the first half. The Bulldogs had 22 rebounds, eight assists, eight turnovers, one block and eight steals. Sheedy led the offense with nine points and three assists while Faulk scored eight points and had seven rebounds.
Santa Clara started the scoring in the second half with a three from Gilday on an assist from Montana Walters that made the score 36-20 but the two teams would go back and forth until Fresno State scored five consecutive points over 43 seconds to get out on top by 20+ points for the first time.
After a free throw by Ruta Zurauskyte made the score 50-30 with 14:05 left in the game, Vandenberg scored four consecutive points to give Fresno State its biggest lead of the game at that point at 24 points with 12:44 remaining.
Later in the half with the score 59-36, Faulk nailed a three to put the Bulldogs on top by a game-high 26 points 62-36. The Broncos responded with a 6-0 run over 45 seconds to make the score 62-42 with 5:38 left. Paine nailed a three and a free throw to lead the run.
The teams exchanged buckets the rest of the way and Fresno State held on for the 69-49 win.