SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In an important game for seeding in the conference tournament, Santa Clara women's basketball beat San Francisco by a final of 80-79 in overtime. The win puts the Broncos at 9-14 overall and 4-10 in WCC action while the Dons are now 14-11 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Thurs., Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. vs. LMU.
"I thought we showed a lot of grit out there today," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "We were focused on executing down the stretch and that's what allowed us to get back into the game. As a coach it's so much to be on the sidelines for a game like that. I'm really proud of our kids today."
Santa Clara shot 43.0% (34-79) from the field and 41.2% (7-17) from three. The Broncos had 37 rebounds, 18 assists, 11 turnovers, three blocks, and eight steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 35 points on 14-30 shooting. Emily Wolph and Taylor Berry each added 12 points while Morgan McGwire scored 10 with nine rebounds.
San Francisco shot 48.9% (22-45) from the field and 58.3% (7-12) from three. The Dons had 34 rebounds, 18 assists, 22 turnovers, four blocks, and three steals. Taylor Proctor led the offense with 22 points and eight rebounds. Taj Winston scored 21 on 7-9 shooting while Paige Spietz added 16 and eight boards.
San Francisco started the game on a 9-2 run over the first minute and a half of the game. Buckets by Gilday and Marie Bertholdt were sandwiched around a layup by Proctor to make the score 11-6.
With Santa Clara down 16-10, the Broncos went on a 6-0 run over less than a minute to tie the game at 16-16. Wolph converted a three-point play and Gilday drilled a three for the Santa Clara points. Winston hit a jumper and was fouled for a three-point play to end the run and make the score 19-16.
A 7-0 run over a minute for USF put them up by double-digits for the first time with 8:49 left in the first half. The Dons were 4-5 from the field while Santa Clara was 0-4. The run ended at 8:24 when Maddison Allen went to the line and hit one of two free throws to make the score 31-22.
Proctor nailed a three after a nice jumper in the lane my McGwire with six and a half on the clock. Wolph slipped past the defense on the next Santa Clara possession and made an easy layup to get the Broncos within eight.
The Broncos trailed by 11 with 4:33 left on the clock when Gilday scored five straight points on a three and a short jumper. Her points made the score 39-33. Hashima Carothers made one of two free throws but Gilday banked in a three as the shot clock was winding down on the ensuing Bronco possession.
With six seconds on the clock Gilday converted both ends of a one-and-one to send the teams to the locker room with San Francisco up 45-42.
Santa Clara shot 47.2% (17-36) from the field and 44.4% (4-9) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 15 rebounds, 10 assists, five turnovers, no blocks, and two steals. GIlday led the offense with 23 points on 9-14 shooting. Wolph added eight points while McGwire scored six.
San Francisco shot 58.3% (14-24) from the field and 62.5% (5-8) from three in the first half. The Dons had 14 rebounds, 10 assists, nine turnovers, two blocks, and two steals. Winston led the offense with 14 points on 5-7 shooting. Proctor scored 13 while Spietz added six.
Santa Clara went nearly three minutes without scoring in the second half and fell behind by seven. Gilday ended the drought with a free throw line jumper at 14:29 to make the score 54-49.
The Dons went on a 6-0 run over 1:34 to get back on top by double-digits. Santa Clara missed six straight field goals. Wolph hit a three with 10:10 remaining in the half to end the run.
Brooke Gallaway made a jumper with the shot clock set to expire and Gilday followed it up with a three to get Santa Clara within five. Claudia Price came back with a bucket inside on the next Dons possession.
Berry made a layup at 4:46 to get the Broncos within six and Bertholdt followed it up with a tough offensive rebound and put back. A free throw line jumper by Bertholdt put Santa Clara on a 6-0 run over 2:22 and made it a two-point game at 3:24. Winston went to the line and hit two free throws to end the run and make the score 74-70.
With the score 74-72 the Bronco defense forced a turnover and called a timeout to set up the final possession with 26.7 on the clock. McGwire connected on a layup with three seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Aundrea Gordon drilled a three from the left corner with just over two minutes left in the overtime period. Berry came right back with a hard drive to the bucket to keep it a one-point game.
Gallaway drew an offensive foul with 28.7 left on the clock to give the Broncos the ball down one. Gilday's baseline jumper bounced around seemingly forever before finding the bottom of the net to give Santa Clara the 80-79 lead with 18 seconds.
The Dons called a timeout with 7.9 seconds left but couldn't convert on the offensive end and Santa Clara held on for the overtime win.
Game Notes: Attendance was 517.