SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off a big 77-40 win vs. Notre Dame de Namur, Santa Clara women's basketball will play its final exhibition game of the season on Thurs., Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. vs. Dominican in Leavey. The win was the first game under new Bronco head coach JR Payne and her staff.
"I thought we played extremely hard on Saturday and executed pretty well," said Payne. "As an exhibition game you're just trying to figure out where you are and what you need to improve upon. Our effort and execution were good but there are some little things we can improve on."
Santa Clara outrebounded the Argonauts 54-39 and forced 27 turnovers. The Broncos had 18 steals and five blocks while shooting 45.6% (31-68) from the floor. After leading by 12 at the half, Santa Clara outscored Notre Dame de Namur 42-17 in the second half.
Nici Gilday led all scorers with 19 points on 8-16 shooting. She added six rebounds, four steals and three assists. Morgan McGwire had a double-double in her first collegiate game with 12 points and 10 boards. Beth Carlson, who red-shirted last season, scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting with five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Marie Bertholdt scored eight points with five rebounds and two steals while Raquel Avila led the team with five assists and had three steals to go with four points.
"We don't have a lot in the playbook offensively right now, but what we ran we did correctly," said Payne. "We need to improve on our discipline in transition. We had people running in the wrong lanes at times and we missed some easy opportunities. We got some good looks but didn't convert some of them. This week we've been continuing to learn to read each other and read our options."
Dominican went 9-18 in 2013-14 and was outscored 1,938-1,715. The Penguins shot 35.3% (616-1745) from the field last year and 27.3% (109-400) from deep. They outrebounded opponents 43.7-42.7.
Carly Holboke is the top returning scorer for the Penguins. She scored 8.7 ppg last season in 27 games off the bench. She led the team in three pointers made (46), attempted (148), and percentage (.311). Sarah Nelson averaged 6.4 ppg and was second on the team with 6.3 rpg. Danielle Yamauchi led the team with 118 assists while scoring 4.2 ppg.
"It's hard to know our opponent this week because it's a new coach and a new team," said Payne. "We don't know what we're going to face so we're just working on our own discipline and what we're looking for on our plays. We also want to continue to focus on playing hard, tough basketball."