Big Second Half Lifts Broncos Past Pilots

Big Second Half Lifts Broncos Past Pilots

PORTLAND, Ore. – Finishing its trip through the Pacific Northwest, Santa Clara women's basketball beat Portland by a final of 64-55. The win puts the Broncos at 8-14 overall and 3-10 in WCC action while the Pilots are now 4-19 overall and 2-10 in conference play.

Santa Clara returns to the floor Sat., Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. vs. San Francisco.

Santa Clara shot 41.9% (26-62) from the field and 25.0% (3-12) from three. The Broncos had 45 rebounds, 13 assists, 14 turnovers, nine blocks, and eight steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 23 points on 9-20 shooting. Marie Bertholdt had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Morgan McGwire had 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Portland shot 31.3% (20-64) from the field and 27.8% (5-18) from three. The Pilots had 42 rebounds, 12 assists, 12 turnovers, four blocks, and eight steals. Kari Luttinen led the offense with 25 points on 9-22 shooting. Cassandra Brown had 12 rebounds to go with six points while Cassandra Thompson scored eight with five boards.

With the Broncos on top 6-5, Portland went on a 10-0 run over three minutes behind six points from Luttinen. Brooke Gallaway knocked down a jumper at 14:35 to end the run and make the score 15-8. Luttinen answered right back with a three.

Down 11, Santa Clara scored five straight points to get within six at the under-12 media timeout. Out of the timeout Luttinen drilled another three to make it 22-13.

At 8:13 Raquel Avila made a layup and Gilday followed it up with a three to cut the Santa Clara deficit to just four. Luttinen kept the hot hand going and scored the next five straight for the Pilots.

Bertholdt's back-to-back buckets started an 8-0 Santa Clara run over 3:01 to get Santa Clara within three. Portland was 0-6 from the field and were just 2-19. The Pilots didn't score for 3:34 until Luttinen made a layup to make the score 31-28 at 1:56.

Santa Clara missed its final six shots in the first half while Portland was just 1-9 and the teams went to the locker room with Portland up 34-28.

Santa Clara shot 35.5% (11-31) from the field and 16.7% (1-6) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 21 rebounds, six assists, eight turnovers, seven blocks, and four steals. Bertholdt led the offense with eight points and six rebounds. Gilday scored five with two steals while McGwire had five rebounds and four blocks.

Portland shot 32.4% (12-37) from the field and 33.3% (4-12) from three in the first half. The Pilots had 26 rebounds, seven assists, five turnovers, two blocks, and three steals. Luttinen led the offense with 22 points on 8-16 shooting. Jasmine Wooton scored six with five rebounds and five assists while Brown scored four points with nine rebounds.

After Portland scored the first bucket of the second half, Santa Clara went on a 6-0 run to get within two. After a 30 second timeout by the Pilots Thompson hit a free throw to end the run.

Avila's layup at 15:39 got Santa Clara within just one and Gilday drained a three on the next possession to give Santa Clara its first lead since early in the first half. Thompson came right back and tied it but Gilday had an answer of her own to make the score 41-39.

A jumper by Gilday gave Santa Clara a two-point lead with nine minutes to go in the second half but Luttinen scored her first points of the second half with a three that put the Pilots back up one. Taylor Berry drove to the hole and converted a layup and free throw to make it a 53-51 game. Gilday followed it up with a transition layup.

The Broncos got on top by nine with a 7-0 run over 4:12 where they hit three straight field goals. Portland didn't score for 5:30 including two missed free throws and a missed wide-open fast break layup. Kaylie Van Loo finally got the Pilots back on the board with 32 seconds left when she hit two free throws. Portland missed its final eight field goals of the game.

Santa Clara hit its free throws in the final seconds to hold on for the nine-point win.

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