Big Second Half Leads Broncos to 26-Point Exhibition Win vs. Dominican

Big Second Half Leads Broncos to 26-Point Exhibition Win vs. Dominican

WATCH | EYEBRONCO's Highlights from the Victory

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the second and final exhibition of the season, Santa Clara women's basketball beat Dominican by a final of 81-55.

Santa Clara returns to the floor Fri., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at UC Riverside in the regular season opener.

"Tonight wasn't the prettiest game we've ever played but that's what exhibition games are for," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "I'm grateful to have played this team because they played a style that threw us for a loop a little bit. In the first half we played into their style instead of being strong like we wanted to. At this point in the season that's a great learning tool. In the second half we did a lot better and executed more cleanly. We were also really good on the glass in the second half."

Santa Clara shot 43.1% (31-72) from the field and 75.0% (6-8) from three. The Broncos had 61 rebounds, 22 assists, 18 turnovers, six blocks, and 13 steals. Morgan McGwire led the offense with a double-double, 17 points on 9-11 shooting from the charity stripe and had 12 rebounds. Marie Bertholdt also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Raquel Avila had eight rebounds and nine assists.

Dominican shot 32.1% (17-53) from the field and 9.1% (1-11) from three. The Penguins had 33 rebounds, six assists, 19 turnovers, 13 blocks, and five steals. Allyssa Weatherd led the offense with 10 points and five rebounds while fouling out. Carly Holboke scored eight points while Sarah Nelson grabbed seven rebounds to go with four points.

Neither team came out shooting well but Nici Gilday nailed a three to get the Broncos on the board at 17:51. The teams went to the first media timeout tied 4-4. After McGwire hit a pair of free throws to put the Broncos on top, Kelsey McKeon tied it up again on the other end of the floor.

After a free throw put the Penguins up one with 12:52 left in the first half, Vanessa Leo grabbed an offensive board and put it back in to make the score 10-9 in favor of the Broncos. A beautiful play followed for the Broncos to add to the lead.

With the game now tied at 12, Beth Carlson took a pass in the low post and proceeded to knock down a tough layup and got fouled. Carlson missed the free throw but Bertholdt grabbed the board and put it back in to complete the four-point possession. Carlson made it a 6-0 run on the fast break with a nice juke to get a defender to fly past her. With the score 18-12 Broncos and 9:42 on the clock Dominican called timeout.

Santa Clara got the lead to double-digits for the first time with four and a half minutes remaining in the half. Bertholdt hit a jumper and Brooke Gallaway drilled a three on the next possession to make it 28-17.

At the half Santa Clara held a 33-24 lead.

Santa Clara shot 38.2% (13-34) from the field and 100.0% (4-4) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 28 rebounds, 10 assists, nine turnovers, three blocks, and five steals. Gilday led the offense with six points on 2-2 shooting from deep and three rebounds. Carlson scored six points and had three rebounds as well. Bertholdt scored four points and had four steals while Avila had five assists.

Dominican shot 26.1% (6-23) from the field and 0.0% (0-5) from three in the first half. The Penguins had 20 rebounds, one assist, 10 turnovers, six blocks, and two steals. Weatherd led the offense with eight points on 2-5 shooting with four rebounds. Jessy Marshall scored four points while Danielle Yamauchi grabbed four boards.

Santa Clara started the second half on a 9-0 run over 3:38 behind four points from Bertholdt and a three from Gilday. With the score now 42-24 Dominican called a timeout. The run ended on a fast break layup by Yamauchi.

Over 2:36 Santa Clara went on an 8-0 run behind four points each from Taylor Berry and Bertholdt. The run ended when Marshall hit a pair of free throws to make it a 50-30 lead for Santa Clara.

A 9-0 run by the Broncos over 2:34 included a three-point play by Katie Hawkins on a fast break. The run pushed the Bronco lead out to a game-high 28 points with 8:27 remaining in the game. The Penguins turned the ball over three times during the run. Dominican finally got back on the board with a layup from Holboke but Sidney Rielly answered right back with a three.

Santa Clara would get its lead to over 30 and ended up with the 81-55 win. 

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