COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Looking for a tournament win, Santa Clara women's basketball took down Air Force by a final of 85-64 at the Air Force Classic. The win puts the Broncos at 5-2 overall while the Falcons are now 1-7. Nici Gilday won Tournament MVP honors and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Sun., Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at No. 8 Stanford.
Santa Clara shot 44.6% (33-74) from the field and 31.8% (7-22) from three. The Broncos had 57 rebounds, 20 assists, 21 turnovers, eight blocks, and eight steals. Gilday led the offense with 18 points on 8-13 shooting with six rebounds and four assists. Vanessa Leo added 14 points and five rebounds while Maddison Allen scored 12 with nine boards.
Air Force shot 33.9% (19-56) from the field and 36.8% (7-19) from three. The Falcons had 27 rebounds, 13 assists, 16 turnovers, one block, and five steals. Jimi Blagowsky led the offense with21 points on 5-6 shooting from three. Madeleine Philpot scored 12 with five rebounds and Cortney Porter scored 12 with three assists.
Four minutes into the game a three by Gilday made the score 9-7 Air Force. The Falcons would go on a 6-0 run over a minute and a half, led by five points from Blagowsky, to make it a 15-7 game. Allen ended the run with a three-point play at the 13:11 mark.
The Falcons lead would get back out to nine points on a three from Blagowsky at the 9:06 mark in the first half. Gilday answered back with a layup. Two free throws from Philpot made the score 25-16 with 8:18 remaining.
Over 2:01 the Broncos went on a 10-0 run to take the lead 26-25. Sidney Rielly drilled two threes and added a layup to lead the way. One of two from the line by Porter at 6:01 ended the run and tied the game.
Air Force would once again take the lead but a three from Gilday at 1:28 made it 33-32 Broncos and on the ensuing possession Gilday knocked down a jumper. Allen came back with a three-point play to make it an 8-0 run to end the first half and put Santa Clara up 38-32 at the break.
Santa Clara shot 43.2% (16-37) from the field and 28.6% (4-14) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 28 rebounds, nine assists, 11 turnovers, five blocks, and four steals. Gilday led the offense with 14 points and four rebounds. Rielly added eight points and four boards while Allen scored eight points with four rebounds as well.
Air Force shot 33.3% (10-30) from the field and 37.5% (3-8) from three in the first half. The Falcons had 16 rebounds, five assists, seven turnovers, and three steals. Blagowsky led the offense with 11 points. Porter added seven with three steals and Philpot scored six.
The first five points of the second half went to Santa Clara, including a three from Brooke Gallaway. Air Force got on the board with a layup by Philpot two minutes into the half.
A 9-0 Santa Clara run over 2:11 stretched the lead to 16 points. Porter put an end to the run with a three at 14:21. The Broncos continued to push the lead and two free throws by Gallaway at 11:43 made the score 57-40.
With 10 and a half minutes remaining the Broncos got out on top by 20 for the first time when Marie Bertholdt knocked down a jumper. Leo followed with a layup and Gallaway made another three for a 15-2 run over 4:34. The Falcons finally made a field goal at 7:44 on a three from Blagowsky that made the score 70-46 with 7:44 remaining.
Air Force was unable to get closer than 18 the rest of the way and Santa Clara held on for the win.