SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off a win at the Air Force Classic, Santa Clara women's basketball returns to the floor for a one-game week. The Broncos will face tough competition from Bay Area rival No. 7 Stanford in Palo Alto on Sun., Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network. Last week Santa Clara fell at home to Cal Poly but bounced back with two wins at the Air Force Classic to win the tournament. Nici Gilday was named MVP of the tournament and to the All-Tournament Team. She was also named WCC Player of the Week on Monday.
"You want to be confident at any point in the season, but when you're facing a juggernaut like Stanford you definitely need to be feeling good about what you're doing," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "We're really happy to have a couple of wins coming into this game. This week is about us and being able to be aggressive and keeping that confidence. We need to execute and win the hustle stats, the things we always want to do."
Santa Clara is outscoring opponents by an average of 72.7-62.9 and outrebounding teams 46.1-33.6. The Broncos are shooting 43.8% (181-413) from the floor, 32.1% (34-106) from three, and 69.8% (113-162) from the free throw line.
Nici Gilday, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, leads Santa Clara in scoring with 18.1 points per game and is shooting 45.8% (44-96) from the field. Gilday is adding 3.1 rebounds per game and 1.1 steals per game. She leads the team in threes made (16) and attempted (40) and is second in free throws made (23) and attempted (26) while leading the way in free throw percentage (88.5%). Marie Bertholdt is second on the team in scoring with 9.4 ppg and leads the way with 7.9 rpg. She leads the team with 24 free throws made and 30 attempted. She is shooting 50.0% (21-42) from the floor and averaging 1.2 spg. Raquel Avila leads the Broncos with 4.3 apg and is chipping in 4.4 ppg and 2.0 rpg. Sidney Rielly is second on the team with nine threes made and is scoring 7.6 ppg on 46.5% (20-43) shooting from the field. Maddison Allen leads the team with 12 blocks and scores 6.1 ppg to go with 4.9 rpg.
Santa Clara is 11-29 all-time vs. Stanford with the first meeting coming in 1963-64. The last meeting was a 92-57 loss at the Leavey Center on Nov. 11, 2012. The last meeting in Palo Alto came on Nov. 29, 2006 and was an 88-56 win for the Cardinal. The last win for Santa Clara vs. Stanford was on Dec. 4, 1998 when the Broncos came away with an 81-65 victory.
Stanford is 5-2 on the year and 2-1 at home. Last week the Cardinal went 2-1 at the Rainbow Wahine Shootout where they fell to No. 11 North Carolina but topped Hawai'i and Prairie View A&M. Both losses have come at the hand of ranked teams, with an 87-81 overtime loss vs. No. 10 Texas on Nov. 20. Stanford took down No. 1 UConn 88-86 in overtime at home this season.
"Stanford is extremely disciplined and has all the parts you could want in a basketball team," said Payne. "They're fast, they can shoot, they have big kids inside that are skilled. They're a team that I've always admired and appreciate how they play the game."
Stanford is outscoring opponents by an average of 80.4-69.9 and outrebounding teams 39.9-35.0. The Cardinal are shooting 47.4% (191-403) from the floor, 43.4% (56-129) from three, and 69.8% (125-179) from the free throw line.
Lili Thompson leads the team in scoring with 21.8 ppg and is shooting 50.6% (43-85) from the field and 53.3% (16-30) from deep. She adds 3.0 rpg and 2.2 apg as well. Amber Orrange is second on the team in scoring with 13.9 ppg while leading the way with 4.3 apg. She adds 4.6 rpg and 2.0 spg. Kaylee Johnson leads the team in shooting with a 60.9% (14-23) mark from the floor and rebounding with 11.0 rpg. She scores 6.7 ppg with 1.3 bpg. Karlie Samuelson leads the Cardinal with 18 threes made and 36 attempted. She scores 9.4 ppg with 2.0 rpg.