SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Getting set for the final non-conference game of the season, Santa Clara women's basketball will face its second consecutive Pac-12 opponent when they travel to play Oregon on Thurs., Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. Last week the Broncos fell at No. 7 Stanford and now sit at 5-3 on the season.
"We took some positives away from our game with Stanford," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "We never gave up, we never rolled over, we continued to fight and compete against a better team than us. I wish we did a better job on the rebounding side of things because that would have made a difference in the score and we always want to outrebound our opponents. Other than that, just the way we fought was awesome to see."
Santa Clara is outscoring opponents by an average of 69.0-65.2 and outrebounding teams 44.5-36.5. The Broncos are shooting 42.1% (201-478) from the floor, 31.3% (36-115) from three, and 68.7% (114-166) from the free throw line.
Nici Gilday leads Santa Clara in scoring with 18.0 points per game and is shooting 48.1% (52-108) from the field. Gilday is adding 3.0 rebounds per game and 1.0 steals per game. She leads the team in threes made (17) and attempted (42) 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 8.5 ppg and leads the way with 7.6 rpg. She leads the team with 24 free throws made and 30 attempted. She is shooting 46.8% (22-47) from the floor and averaging 1.1 spg. Raquel Avila leads the Broncos with 4.1 apg and is chipping in 4.3 ppg and 2.1 rpg. Sidney Rielly is second on the team with nine threes made and is scoring 6.9 ppg on 44.7% (21-47) shooting from the field. Maddison Allen leads the team with 14 blocks and scores 5.6 ppg to go with 4.5 rpg.
Santa Clara is 2-10 all-time vs. Oregon with the first meeting coming in 1982-83. The last meeting was a 99-72 loss at home on Dec. 21, 2010. The last meeting in Eugene was an 88-71 loss on Nov. 24, 2009. The Broncos last win vs. Oregon came on Dec. 15, 2002 when they came away with an 88-79 road victory.
"Oregon has a new coach and a new system but they have some great shooters," said Payne. "They play more of a guard-oriented offense so we'll have to be able to guard the perimeter. They also have the best rebounder in the country in Jillian Alleyne so that will be a challenge for us. The good thing is we just played Stanford who also has one of the best rebounders in the country so we've been talking about it a lot lately."
Oregon is 5-3 on the season and 4-1 at home. The Ducks have won three in a row including a win last week vs. Northern Arizona at home. They topped WCC opponent Portland 72-49 on the road earlier in December.
The Ducks are outscoring teams by an average of 69.5-64.2 and outrebounding teams 39.0-36.1. They are shooting 41.5% (200-482) from the field, 37.8% (70-185) from three, and 64.2% (86-134) from the free throw line.
Jillian Alleyne leads Oregon with 17.4 ppg on 57.3% (59-103) shooting. She also leads the team with 13.8 rpg, good for second in the country. Lexi Petersen scores 12.6 ppg while leading the team with 4.3 apg. She adds a team-best 1.7 spg and1.0 bpg with 4.3 rpg. Lei Bando is tops on the team in three-point shooting with a 50.0% (18-36) mark while scoring 11.6 ppg. She grabs 2.9 rpg while adding 2.5 apg. Katelyn Loper scores 9.8 ppg with 3.4 rpg and leads the team in free throw shooting at 92.3% (12-13).