SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Getting set to wrap-up the first half of conference play, Santa Clara women's basketball travels south to take on LMU and Pepperdine. The Broncos face the Lions Thurs., Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and face the Waves Sat., Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. Last week Santa Clara fell at San Francisco and are now 6-10 overall and 1-6 in WCC action.
"We are really concentrating on bringing great energy and intensity to both of these games this weekend," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "Rebounding on both ends of the floor will be very important along with great execution! Every game is so important in league and these two are no different."
Santa Clara is being outscored by an average of 68.8-67.0 but outrebounding teams 43.4-38.2. The Broncos are shooting 38.5% (390-1013) from the field, 28.9% (70-242) from three, and 69.8% (222-318) from the free throw line.
Nici Gilday leads Santa Clara with 18.9 ppg on 39% (107-268) shooting from the field and a36% (38-103) shooting from deep. She adds 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, and 1.6 spg. Marie Bertholdt leads the team with 7.1 rpg while scoring 9.7 ppg. Bertholdt leads the team in free throws made (57) and attempted (70). Raquel Avila is tops on the team with 3.6 apg while adding 4.6 ppg and 2.4 rpg. Maddison Allen leads Santa Clara with 1.6 bpg and scores 4.1 ppg to go with 4.1 rpg.
Santa Clara is 44-21 all-time vs. LMU with the first meeting coming in 1984-85. Last season both teams won on the other's court.
"LMU does a great job of using their athleticism to break down defenses," said Payne. "It will be really important for us to be able to contain the basketball and protect the rim. They have four players that average double figures in scoring so we have our work cut out for us."
The Lions are 2-16 on the season and 0-7 in conference action. They are 2-6 at home. LMU won back-to-back games vs. UAB and Bowling Green at home on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 but have lost 13 in a row since. Last week they fell at Portland and at Gonzaga.
LMU is being outscored by an average of 78.4-65.7 and outrebounded 42.1-36.9. The Lions are shooting 38.6% (436-1129) from the field, 29.2% (100-343) from three, and 72.5% (211-291) from the free throw line.
LMU has five players averaging in double figures. Deanna Johnson leads the team with 13.2 ppg and adds 2.2 rpg. Taylor Anderson (12.3), Leslie Lopez-Wood (10.2), Emily Ben-Jumbo (10.2), and Sophie Taylor (10.0) are the other four Lions averaging double-digit scoring. Ben-Jumbo is tops on the team with 6.6 rpg while Anderson and Taylor are tied with a team-best 15 blocks. Anderson leads the team with 2.6 apg and adds 6.3 rpg.
Santa Clara is 33-35 all-time vs. Pepperdine with the first meeting coming in 1978-79. Last season both teams won at home with Pepperdine winning 80-74 in the West Coast Conference Tournament.
"Pepperdine is similar to LMU in that they are very athletic," said Payne. "They have several players who can really score the ball and they do a great job of penetrating defenses, collapsing the help, and kicking to open shooters."
The Waves are 6-12 on the season and 1-6 in WCC play. They are 1-5 at home this year. Their last win was the conference opener vs. LMU when they came away with a 98-91 overtime win. They have lost six in a row. Last week they fell at Gonzaga and at Portland.
Pepperdine is being outscored by an average of 72.2-64.8 and outrebounded 41.7-33.8The Waves are shooting 39.9% (421-1054) from the field, 30.5% (86-282) from three, and 73.7% (238-323) from the free throw line.
Bria Richardson leads the Waves with 15.4 ppg while adding 3.4 rpg. She leads the team with 2.7 spg and is second with 3.3 apg. Keitra Wallace scores 13.2 ppg with a team-best 5.8 rpg. Allie Green adds 12.7 ppg and 3.8 prg. Ea Shoushtari leads Pepperdine with 3.8 apg and scores 8.6 ppg. She also leads the team in threes made (27) and attempted (90).