SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After splitting in the opening week of the season, Santa Clara women's basketball begins a four-game road trip on Thurs., Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara. Last week the Broncos fell at UC Riverside 80-69 before coming back with a huge 87-41 win at home vs. San Francisco State. The Broncos are 1-1 on the young season.
"This week we are working on focusing on staying in the moment so that we can continue to work on our execution," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "We're just focusing on details and execution. We're not worrying about our opponent as much as ourselves."
Santa Clara has outscored its opponents by an average of 78.0-60.5 this season. As a team the Broncos are shooting 46.5% (59-127) from the floor, 20.8% (5-24) from three, and 75.0% (33-44) from the free throw line. They have outrebounded teams by a plus-15.5 margin per game (49.5-34.0).
In the team's first two games, Sidney Rielly leads the way with 13.0 points per game on 52.6% (10-19) shooting from the field and 40.0% (2-5) from deep. Rielly is adding 1.5 rebounds per game and 1.5 steals per game. She scored a game-high 25 in the Broncos route of San Francisco State. Nici Gilday is second on the team with 12.0 ppg and is shooting 36.45 (8-22) from the field. Gilday has added 2.0 rpg. Marie Bertholdt had a double-double in the season-opener and is averaging 11.5 ppg. She is shooting a team-best 80.0% (8-10) from the field and is at 87.5% (7-8) from the charity stripe. She is tied with Vanessa Leo for the team lead with 9.5 rpg. Leo is averaging 10.0 ppg and also had a double-double at UC Riverside. She is shooting 60.0% (9-15) from the floor.
Santa Clara is 2-5 all-time vs. UC Santa Barbara with the first meeting coming in 1980-81. The last meeting was a 67-62 loss last year.
"Santa Barbara is very athletic in a lot of places," said Payne. "They have a great post player and some tremendous athleticism. They can penetrate downhill really hard. They lost a three-point game last night so they have some good game experience. To have a three-point game this early in the season is really good for your experience."
The Gauchos opened the season with a pair of losses last week. They fell 71-58 at Nevada and 47-44 vs. Idaho at home. In their lone exhibition game vs. Occidental they came away with a 64-30 win and home.
"We're going to have to execute to be able to get a win," said Payne. "We'll have to take care of the basketball. We've turned it over too many times in both games. We'll also have to rebound well."
UC Santa Barbara is shooting 28.8% (34-118) from the field, 19.2% (5-26) from three and 76.3% (29-38) from the free throw line. The Gauchos have been outscored by an average of 59.0-51.0 and outrebounded 42.0-37.5.
Jasmine Ware leads the Gauchos with 12.5 ppg 31.8% (7-22) shooting from the floor and a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line. She adds 4.0 rpg and 2.0 spg. Clair Watkins leads the team with 9.5 rpg and is second with 10.5 ppg. Watkins is shooting 33.3% (8-24) from the floor and has added four blocks in two games. Makala Roper is scoring 5.5 ppg and leads the team with three three-pointers made. She is shooting 44.4% (4-9) from the field and 50.0% (3-6) from deep.