SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara women's basketball topped Pepperdine by a final of 84-66 on Thursday night at the Leavey Center. The win puts the Broncos at 10-14 overall and 5-10 in WCC action while the Waves are now 7-20 overall and 2-14 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the floor Sat., Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. vs. LMU for Senior Day.
"At times tonight it felt like everything was working for us," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "We did a good job defensively for the first stretch and Nici was awesome for us. When we're successful it's usually not just her producing. Rocky was really aggressive tonight and Marie almost had a double-double so we got good production all around."
Santa Clara shot 47.4% (27-57) from the field and 50.0% (8-16) from three. The Broncos had 37 rebounds, 15 assists, 12 turnovers, three blocks, and seven steals. Nici Gilday led the offense with 28 points on with six threes. Marie Bertholdt added 11 points and eight rebounds while Raquel Avila scored 10 points with five rebounds and three assists.
Pepperdine shot 36.2% (21-58) from the field and 0.0% (0-8) from three. The Waves had 31 rebounds, 16 assists, 10 turnovers, one block, and five steals. Keitra Wallace and Allie Green led the offense with 16 points each. Devin Stanback added 11 while Bria Richardson scored 10.
Pepperdine went on a 6-0 run over a minute and a half after both teams opened the game with two points. Maddison Allen ended the run at the 17-minute mark with a layup. Wallace came right back with an easy layup to make the score 10-4.
The Broncos came back to take the lead with a 12-0 run over 3:14. Three different Broncos scored during the run and the team made six straight field goals. Emily Wolph led the way with six points, including a three. Pepperdine was 0-5 from the floor and didn't score for 3:42 until Green made a jumper to end the run and make it 16-12 at 13:10.
The Waves got within two at the 7:34 mark but Gilday scored four straight points for the Broncos to make the score 27-21. Bertholdt added to free throws to put Santa Clara on a 6-0 run over 1:16. The run ended on the next possession when Green hit a jumper but Santa Clara still led by six.
Gilday drilled a triple from the top of the key with three minutes left in the half to put Santa Clara up by double-digits for the first time. After a free throw by the Waves, Gilday hit another jumper that made it 39-28. Pepperdine answered with a jumper but Gilday kept the hot hand with another three ball.
Both teams missed chances to score in their final possession of the half and the teams went to halftime with Santa Clara up 42-30.
Santa Clara shot 46.9% (15-32) from the field and 44.4% (4-9) from three in the first half. The Broncos had 20 rebounds, nine assists, five turnovers, one block, and two steals. Gilday led the offense with 15 points. Bertholdt added nine points and five rebounds while Wolph scored six.
Pepperdine shot 32.3% (10-31) from the field and 0.0% (0-5) from three in the first half. The Waves had 18 rebounds, six assists, five turnovers, no blocks, and three steals. Wallace led the offense with 12 points on 5-5 shooting from the field. Stanback scored seven while Ea Shoushtari grabbed six rebounds.
Gilday started the second half like she ended the first and hit a three on the first possession. Stanback hit a layup and Richardson came back with another bucket off a turnover.
After Pepperdine cut the lead to single-digits, seven straight points for Santa Clara got the lead to 19 with 14:32 on the clock. The run included a three-point play on a fast break from Maddison Allen. The Waves got back on the board with a jumper to make the score 57-40.
After Santa Clara missed four straight field goal attempts Gilday got some separation and hit yet another three. The bucket made the score 67-49 with 9:50 left in the game.
Santa Clara didn't score another field goal until 5:17 but made eight free throws during the stretch. Avila's jumper with the shot clock about to expire made the score 77-58.
The Broncos held on for the 18-point win.
Game Notes: Attendance was 238 … Courtney Lisowski made her first career three with 3:00 on the clock in the second half.