SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Getting set for the final home games of the season, Santa Clara women's basketball host Pepperdine on Thurs., Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. and welcomes LMU Sat., Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Last week Santa Clara topped San Francisco 80-79 in an overtime thriller. The Broncos are 9-14 overall and 4-10 in WCC play.
"We have a tremendous senior class this year. ," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "These young ladies that have poured their hearts into the Santa Clara basketball family and it will be our honor to highlight their careers and the impact that they've had on those around them."
After such a thrilling game vs. USF, Payne isn't worried about a letdown from the team or that they are too focused on what a win would mean for seeding in the conference tournament.
"We try to play one game at a time and focus on going 1-0 on game day," said Payne. "I don't think our team is thinking about seeding at all. We just want to do what it takes to be successful on that given day. We try to bring enthusiasm and intensity in every drill, every day so I think the USF game is long gone from our memory. All we try to focus on is giving our best effort in the moment."
Santa Clara is being outscored on the season by an average of 68.2-65.4 but outrebounding opponents 42.3-37.9. The Broncos are shooting 38.3% (549-1434) from the field, 28.7% (94-328) from three, and 70.4% (312-443) from the free throw line.
Nici Gilday leads Santa Clara with 18.9 ppg on 39.4% (152-386) shooting from the field. She is tops on the team in threes made (54), attempted (152), and three point percentage (35.5%), free throw percentage (92.7%) and steals (1.7). She adds 2.8 rpg and 1.5 apg. Marie Bertholdt leads the team with 7.3 rpg and is second in scoring with 9.8 ppg. She is shooting 47.1% (74-157) from the field and leads the team in free throws made (77) and attempted (105). Raquel Avila is tops on the team with 3.5 apg while scoring 4.6 ppg and grabbing 2.2 rpg. Maddison Allen is averaging a team-high 1.3 bpg and scoring 3.6 ppg to go with 3.9 rpg.
Santa Clara is 34-35 all-time vs. Pepperdine with the first meeting coming in 1978-79. The Broncos are 19-13 vs. the Waves in Leavey. Earlier this season the Broncos won in Malibu 65-54.
"Pepperdine is extremely athletic and has four guards that average double-digit points," said Payne. "They have many players that can really score the ball so it's essential that we have great focus on containing their perimeter."
The Waves are 7-19 this season and 2-13 in conference play. They are 4-9 on the road. Last week their win vs. Portland snapped a 12-game losing streak.
Pepperdine is being outscored on the season by an average of 71.1-62.7 and outrebounded 41.5-32.9. The Waves are shooting 39.4% (597-1516) from the field, 30.3% (112-370) from three, and 71.7% (325-453) from the free throw line.
Bria Richardson leads Pepperdine with 15.0 ppg on 39.8% (135-339) shooting from the field. She leads the team with 2.5 spg and is second with 3.3 apg. Keitra Wallace scores 12.5 ppg with 5.2 rpg. She leads the team in free throws made (93) and attempted (120). Allie Green is scoring 11.4 ppg with 3.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, and 1.0 spg. Ea Shoushtari is tops on the roster with 5.6 rpg and 3.8 apg while adding 8.9 ppg and 1.8 spg.
Santa Clara is 44-21 all-time vs. LMU with the first meeting coming in 1984-85. The Broncos are 10-8 vs. the Lions in Leavey. Earlier this season LMU won the matchup in Los Angeles.
LMU has some of the best three-point shooters in the WCC," said Payne. "It will be important to do a good job of contesting their outside looks."
The Lions are 4-22 this season and 2-13 in conference play. They are 0-12 on the road. Last week they topped Portland in their second game of the week to end a six-game losing streak.
LMU is being outscored on the season by an average of 76.2-64.8 and outrebounded 41.1-36.2. The Lions are shooting 38.6% (612-1587) from the field, 29.9% (148-495 from three, and 70.9% (312-440) from the free throw line.
Four players average in double-figures for LMU with Leslie Lopez-Wood's 12.2 leading the way. She leads the team with 64 threes made while adding 2.8 rpg and 1.6 apg. Taylor Anderson is scoring 11.6 ppg while placing second in rebounds with 6.0 rpg. She leads the team in assists with 2.6 apg as well. Sophie Taylor scores 11.0 ppg while leading the way with 1.5 spg and adding 5.5 rpg. Emily Ben-Jumbo scores 10.4 ppg and grabs 5.8 rpg. Bree Alford leads the Lions with 6.1 rpg and scores 3.7 ppg.