SANTA CLARA, Calif. – San Diego used its league-leading defense and an impressive rebounding effort to limit Santa Clara's high-scoring offense and top the Broncos 58-41 Monday night in WCC women's basketball action.
Leading by just six in the opening moments of the second half, 33-27, San Diego held Santa Clara scoreless for a nine-minute stretch to build up an 18-point lead with 9 minutes left.
San Diego (11-3; 2-0 WCC) is one of the nation's top defensive teams. The Toreros came into Monday's game holding opponents to 55.7 points per night. They complete the sweep of a two-game WCC-opening road trip. USD beat St. Mary's 77-60 Saturday in Moraga.
Fremont, Calif. native Morgan Woodrow scored 14 points to pace the Toreros offensively. USD out-rebounded Santa Clara 54-36; Woodrow led the way with 13.
Santa Clara (8-8; 1-2 WCC) received a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds from junior forward Ashley Armstrong. Ricki Radanovich made three triples and finished with 11. The Broncos shot 25.4 percent from the field and the team's point-total of 41 was a season-low. Senior point guard Alyssa Shoji was held to eight points on 2 of 14 shooting.
"We don't usually shoot the ball like this," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Give San Diego a lot of credit, they defended well. We need to get back into the gym, work hard and get back after it."
The Toreros used their stingy half-court defense to hold the Broncos to just eight points over the first nine minutes of play. Felicia Wijenberg's post move and basket in the paint put USD up early, 17-8.
Santa Clara made just 5 of 22 shots to open the contest. It was Armstrong keeping the Broncos close, scoring 11 of her points before halftime.
A decisive 26-16 rebounding edge for USD in the first half helped keep Santa Clara off the scoreboard as well and the Toreros took a 30-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
Shoji made a 3 in the opening moments of the second half, slicing the deficit down to six, 33-27, before San Diego reeled off 12 straight points to build up to as many as 20 and take control for good.
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