Broncos Top Notre Dame de Namur in Exhibition Opener

Broncos Top Notre Dame de Namur in Exhibition Opener

WATCH | EYEBRONCO's Highlights from the Game

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Kicking off the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game, Santa Clara women's basketball topped Notre Dame de Namur by a final of 77-40.

Santa Clara returns to the floor Thurs., Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. vs. Dominican in the final exhibition of the season.

"I thought we played really hard out there tonight," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "The goal with our team is to be aggressive and tough and just play our hearts out. I thought that we did that which is great. In an exhibition game you're trying to see what you're made of and I thought we did a great job tonight."

Santa Clara shot 45.6% (31-68) from the field and 25.0% (2-8) from three. The Broncos had 54 rebounds, 16 assists, 18 turnovers, five blocks, and 18 steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 19 points on 8-16 shooting and had six rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Morgan McGwire scored 12 points on 6-9 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double while Beth Carlson scored 11 points and had five boards.

Notre Dame de Namur shot 23.3% (14-60) from the field and 19.0% (4-21) from three. The Argonauts had 39 rebounds, five assists, 27 turnovers, two blocks, and five steals. Maya Arellanes led the offense with 13 points on 4-12 shooting and 2-5 from deep. Kirsten Liana had a team-high seven boards and scored five points.

Santa Clara jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead that forced the Argonauts to call a 30-second timeout and regroup. Beth Carlson scored the first four points of the game in her first action as a Bronco. Nici Gilday nailed a jumper and Raquel Avila made a fast break layup before the timeout.

The run continued and extended to a 12-2 run over the first four minutes of the game when Taylor Berry made her first collegiate basket. Arellanes answered with a baseline jumper to make it 12-4 but Morgan McGwire scored for the Broncos on the other end.

Nanea Woods made a layup off a nice pass from Liana at the 11-minute mark to get the Bronco lead to single digits at 16-7. Santa Clara answered back off an in bounds play a minute later.

Out of the under-eight timeout, Avila went to the line for a one-and-one and converted both ends to put the Broncos back on top by double digits at 21-11. A steal by Gilday led to a baseline jumper by McGwire and Bertholdt got an easy layup to push the Santa Clara run to 6-0 and make the score 25-11. Notre Dame de Namur called a timeout to regroup.

The Argonauts came back with five unanswered points on a three from Liana and a fast break layup off a rebound. Sidney Rielly hit a jumper to get the Broncos back on the board and make it a 27-16 game headed to the final media timeout of the first half.

Santa Clara went into the locker room with a 35-23 lead after Gilday hit a last second jumper.

Santa Clara shot 37.1% (13-35) from the field and 0.0% (0-5) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 29 rebounds, six assists, 10 turnovers, two blocks, and 10 steals. Gilday led the offense with eight points and three rebounds while Carlson scored seven points with three boards, two blocks, and two steals.

Notre Dame de Namur shot 26.7% (8-30) from the field and 16.7% (2-12) from three in the first half. The Argonauts had 19 rebounds, three assists, 12 turnovers, and three steals. Arellanes led the offense with nine points on 3-6 shooting from the field. Liana scored three points and led the team with four rebounds.

The Broncos pushed the lead out to 15 at the start of the second half when Gilday drilled a three from the top of the key. They pushed the lead out to 20 for the first time with 15 minutes remaining in the half and forced the Argonauts to take another timeout.

With the sore 54-33 Broncos and 11:41 left in the game, Emily Wolph drove to the hole and was fouled while converting a layup. She converted the three-point play to make it a game-high 24-point lead.

The lead continued to grow and got to as many as 33 at 66-33 before the Argonauts hit a couple free throws to get their offense going again.

Santa Clara continued to be in control for the remainder of the game and held on for the win.

Game Notes: Attendance was 257.

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