SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On Senior Day, Santa Clara women's basketball beat Pepperdine by a final of 67-61. The win puts the Broncos at 10-19 overall and 6-12 in WCC action while the Waves are now 5-24 overall and 1-17 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor at the West Coast Conference Tournament on Thurs., March 6 with time TBA.
"Today was a good team effort even though we didn't shoot the ball very well," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "Our bigs came in and gave us some big minutes today, especially Ruta. We had a lot of people come through for us today and our defense came through for us today. I'm really proud of our seniors for the way they played tonight."
Santa Clara shot 44.1% (26-59) from the field and 27.8% (5-18) from three. The Broncos had 43 rebounds, 12 assists, 18 turnovers, two blocks, and 10 steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 22 points on 8-17 shooting from the field. Ruta Zurauskyte scored 14 points with eight rebounds while Ricki Radanovich scored 13 and had three steals.
Pepperdine shot 29.9% (20-67) from the field and 25.0% (3-12) from three. The Waves had 45 rebounds, 10 assists, 14 turnovers, two blocks, and eight steals. Ea Shoushtari led the offense with 21 points on 8-17 shooting. Keitra Wallace scored 11 points with 10 rebounds while Allie Green scored eight points.
Radanovich started the game for the Broncos with a three. Pepperdine followed with a 6-0 run over 3:17 to make the score 6-3. Radanovich ended the run with her second three of the day to tie the game at 15:22.
With the score 12-10 Pepperdine at the 12:18 mark, Santa Clara went on a 10-0 run over 4:04 to take an eight-point lead. Zurauskyte led the way for the Broncos with four points during the run. The Waves were 0-8 from the floor during the stretch but finally scored on a free throw by Wallace at 7:49 to make the score 20-13.
Wallace would hit four straight free throws in under 30 seconds to get Pepperdine within three at 4:14 but Radanovich came back with two of her own to make the score 24-19 Broncos.
Vanessa Leo hit a jumper at 2:12 and Radanovich came back on the next possession with her third three of the day to put the Broncos back on top by double digits at 33-23 with 1:47 left in the first half. After a bucket by Pepperdine, the teams went to the locker room with the score 33-25 Santa Clara.
Santa Clara shot 39.4% (13-33) from the field and 33.3% (3-9) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 22 rebounds, five assists, eight turnovers, one block, and seven steals. Radanovich led the offense with 13 points on 3-5 shooting from deep. Gilday added six points and three assists while Marie Bertholdt had five rebounds and two points.
Pepperdine shot 21.9% (7-32) from the field and 14.3% (1-7) from three in the first half. The Waves had 26 rebounds, two assists, 10 turnovers, two blocks, and five steals. Shoushtari led the offense with nine points and three rebounds. Grace Leah Baughn scored six points with six rebounds while Wallace scored five points with four rebounds.
A three-point play by Arteivia Lilomaiava at 16:47 put Santa Clara up eight. Minutes later Pepperdine scored back-to-back buckets to get back within four points but Santa Clara quickly responded to make it an eight-point game again.
Pepperdine went on an 8-0 run over 1:26 to make it a one-point game with 7:30 left on the clock. Shoushtari drained a three and hit a jumper to lead the way for the Waves. A three by Gilday ended the run and made the score 54-50.
At 4:34 Gilday hit another three and Bertholdt followed it up with a layup to get Santa Clara on top by seven points. Pepperdine came right back with five straight points to get back within two when Shoushtari hit a free throw.
The Broncos would get back out on top by as many as eight and hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win on Senior Day.