RENO, Nev. – Ricki Radanovich scored 17 points and had four steals for Santa Clara's women's basketball team Friday, but the Broncos fell 73-48 to the University of Toledo in its opening game at the University of Nevada's John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic in Reno.
Santa Clara (2-3) has now dropped its first two away from its home floor at the Leavey Center and now prep for Cleveland State in the tournament's consolation game Saturday at 2 p.m. Cleveland State was defeated by host Nevada, 86-79, earlier in the day.
Toledo (3-1) moves on to face Nevada Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Rockets – WNIT Champions in 2011 – had four players reach double figures in scoring, led by junior Andola Dortch's 15.
Santa Clara shot just 36 percent (9 for 25) in the first half and saw Toledo make five first-half 3s to post a commanding 37-20 lead at the break. On the night, Radanovich was the only Bronco in double figures, making 7 of 15 shots, including three from long range.
Radanovich made consecutive 3s to keep the Broncos within nine, 24-15, with 5:37 left in the first half, but that was as close as SCU would be the rest of the way.
"We have to put the ball in the basket more, we are struggling offensively," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain, who was hoping her team was going to rebound from its loss at Pacific. "I thought we had better fight tonight than Tuesday (at Pacific), but our guards need to protect the ball much better."
Toledo forced SCU into 27 turnovers and led by as many as that number, 27, with 12:37 left in the second half. Dortch had three steals to go along with her 15 points while Yolanda Richardson added 13 and senior classmate Riley McCormick equaled a career-high with 12.
"They played well, give them credit, but I think we need to focus more on ourselves right now," said Mountain. "We are going to be watching a lot of film on ourselves tonight to see where we can improve. It's all about us. We need to improve."
Mountain saw junior Arteivia Lilomaiava make 3 of 4 shots and register a career-best 24 minutes – influenced by the fact 6-foot-4 center Ruta Zurauskyte drew two quick fouls and played just two minutes in the opening half. Nici Gilday finished the night with nine points and true freshman guard Katie Hawkins played a season-high 14 minutes in the SCU backcourt.
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