SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On Senior Day at the Leavey Center, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to San Diego by a final of 84-66. The loss puts the Broncos at 14-15 overall and 6-10 in the West Coast Conference to end the regular season while San Diego is now 20-8 and 12-4 in conference.
Santa Clara's next game will be in Las Vegas, Nevada at the West Coast Conference Tournament on March 6. Time and opponent will be determined by the outcomes of Saturday's games.
"We gave up points on the paint and free-throws and there was about a 10 minute stretch where all they got was five-footers or lay ups," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "I thought Ruta did a nice job of inside-outside point presence down low and we had some things going, but we just didn't sustain our defense and we gave up 54 points that second half. This was our first recruiting class and I'm really proud how they are on and off the court. I would have loved to have sent them off with a win, that's for sure. "
As a team Santa Clara shot 48.0 percent (24-50) from the field and 5-17 from three. Ruta Zurauskyte and Nici Gilday each scored 15 points to lead the Broncos. Zurauskyte also grabbed 11 boards while Gilday had five rebounds and three steals. Meagan Fulps added 14 points on 4-10 shooting and 3-5 from three. Ricki Radanovich scored 12 points on 5-15 shooting and had two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Toreros shot 54.4 percent (31-57) from the field and 3-6 from long range. Klara Wischer led all scorers with 21 points on 8-9 shooting and dished out 10 assists with six boards. Katelyn McDaniel added 15 points on 6-10 shooting while Felicia Wijenberg scored 14 and had seven rebounds. Maya Hood scored 12 and Malina Hood rounded out the Torero's double-digit scorers with 11 points.
Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a jumper and a pair of free throws by Zurauskyte at 17:47.
After a bucket by Kame, Santa Clara went on a 6-0 run over three minutes to get out on top by eight at 10-2. Wischer knocked down a jumper to end the run and cut the Torero deficit to six points at 15:36.
San Diego went on an 8-0 run over 4:16 to take its first lead of the game at 14-12 with 9:05 left in the first half. The run ended when Gilday knocked down a jumper in the lane.
The Toreros went on another 6-0 run over two minutes to get out to a 20-14 lead but Gilday hit a jumper at 6:32 to end the run and Fulps followed with a three to get the Broncos within one with just over six minutes remaining in the half.
Radanovich tied the game at 26-26 with 4:00 left on the clock when she nailed a three from the left elbow. San Diego responded with a layup by Wijenberg to jump back out on top.
Fulps nailed a three from the left side to get Santa Clara within one point with 1:05 remaining in the opening half. Fulps missed a shot at the buzzer and the teams went into the locker room with the score 30-29.
Zurauskyte led Santa Clara in the first half with 10 points on 4-6 shooting of the field and pulled down eight rebounds. Radanovich added seven points and two steals while Fulps scored six points on two threes. Gilday also added six points, three rebounds and three assists. The Broncos shot 46.2 percent (12-26) from the field and 3-11 from downtown.
Wischer scored a team-high 10 first half points on a perfect 4-4 shooting and pulled in two boards with three assists. Wijenberg added six points while Kame scored four points with a team-high six rebounds. The Toreros shot 45.2 percent (14-31) from the floor and were 0-3 from deep.
San Diego went on a 7-0 run over one minute in the early part of the second half to get out on top by nine points at 40-31. Hood scored five points during the run. A jumper by Zurauskyte ended the run at the 16:33 mark.
The Toreros got the lead to double-digits for the first time on a layup by Hood at the 14:30 mark but the Broncos answered with a free throw and a layup to make the score 45-38 with just under 13 minutes remaining.
A three by Fulps with 10:42 left got the deficit down to six points but the Toreros were able to answer and stretch their lead. Wischer knocked down two free throws with 8:03 left to put San Diego up 60-47.
After Brooke Gallaway made two free throws, San Diego went on a 6-0 over 56 seconds to push the lead out to 66-49. Fulps hit two free throws at the 6:26 mark to end the run and make the score 66-51. Gilday followed with a jumper on the next Bronco possession.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way and San Diego closed out the 84-66 win.