PORTLAND, Ore. – Despite a furious comeback in the final minute, Santa Clara women's basketball picked up its first West Coast Conference win of the year 50-43 at Portland Saturday afternoon.
With the Broncos (5-10, 1-3 WCC) on top 45-34 and just 50 seconds remaining, the Pilots (4-11, 0-4 WCC) scored on four consecutive possessions for a 9-0 run and forced three straight Santa Clara turnovers to get within 45-43 with 24 seconds on the clock.
A breakdown in the Portland press left Morgan McGwire alone behind the defense and she made an easy layup to start a stretch of five in a row for the Broncos that put the game away.
Neither team shot the ball well with Portland going just 29-percent from the field and Santa Clara knocking down just 32-percent but the Broncos forced 22 turnovers and had 14 steals, the second most in a game this season, to help make up for the poor shooting.
Dru Toleafoa scored a team-high 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Taylor Berry scored nine with six rebounds and Kyla Martin dished out a game-best eight assists. McGwire, the team's leading scorer, played just 18 minutes due to foul trouble but still led the team with seven boards.
Santa Clara built its lead by holding Portland scoreless for 7:19 in the fourth quarter as the Pilots missed 11 consecutive shots from the field. The Broncos scored nine in a row during the stretch with Toleafoa capping the run with a 3-pointer.
Darian Slaga scored all nine of her points consecutively in the third quarter behind a pair from beyond the arc and helped the Pilots trim an eight-point deficit to just 33-30 with 2:36 left in the quarter.
Julie Spencer scored a game-high 18, including 12 in the first half and all eight of the Pilots points in the first quarter, on 7-for-14 shooting from the field and added 12 rebounds for a double-double.
Charise Holloway got the Santa Clara offense going in the first quarter when she knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Holloway added a jumper later in the period for all eight of her points.
- Santa Clara is now 43-30 all-time against Portland and has won nine in a row.
- Taylor Berry made her 89th consecutive start.
- Kyla Martin played the entire 40 minutes.
- The Broncos had 11 assists on 16 made baskets.
- Santa Clara made six 3-pointers, just the third time this season they have made at least that many.
- The Broncos held an 18-8 advantage in bench points with Holloway's eight leading the way among non-starters.
ICYMI | #SCUBroncos highlights from Saturday's 50-43 victory over Portland! The team will look to build on this @WCCSports win in a pair of road games this week. FULL HIGHLIGHTS ▶️ https://t.co/qanuPBa6im #StampedeTogether #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/86P0qfs29m— Santa Clara WBB (@Santaclarawbb) January 10, 2018
"We made some timely shots today and got contributions from a few different people. It was nice to see the ball go through the rim early on and Kyla and Charise both made big plays for us at the end. They made that run late but we pulled out a good road win."
Head coach Bill Carr
Santa Clara remains on the road but returns to the Bay Area to play at Saint Mary's Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
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