Season Ends for Women's Basketball After Loss in First Round of WNIT

Season Ends for Women's Basketball After Loss in First Round of WNIT

FRESNO, Calif. – Playing in the postseason for the first time in 10 years, Santa Clara women's basketball fell to Fresno State 59-53 on Friday night in the first round of the WNIT.

Late in the fourth, Santa Clara (23-9) went cold and didn't score for 3:15. They committed three turnovers while going 0 of 4 from the floor and allowed Fresno State (22-11) to go on a 6-0 run and take a 58-52 lead that was took much to recover from.

"I'm disappointed with the outcome," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "I thought we made a valiant push in the second half and played more like ourselves. We played with a little more discipline in the second half as well. We had some contributions from everyone but we just didn't all play well enough to win."

A baseline jumper by Marie Bertholdt at the 5:52 mark had tied the game at 50-all. It was the first time the game had been tied since 4-4 with 5:56 to go in the first quarter.

Another jumper by Bertholdt made it 52-52 with 3:40 left before Santa Clara's late game struggles began.

Bertholdt scored 10 points and had a team-high eight rebounds to go with four steals.

Devin Hudson scored a team-high 11 on 4 of 5 shooting from the floor while Morgan McGwire scored 10 with seven rebounds.

The Broncos went on a 6-0 run over two minutes in the third to cut their deficit to 40-36 at the three-minute mark. It was the turning point that allowed the Broncos to tie the game late in the fourth.

"It was exciting to be able to put the ball in the hoop during that time," said Payne. "A big part of that run was when we were more aggressive. We took our foot off the gas in the fourth a little bit and that cost us."

Both teams struggled to take care of the ball with the Broncos committing 25 turnovers and Fresno State committing 17.

"We had some rust," said Payne. "Our conference tournament was a week before their conference tournament so it's been a while since we played. There were some jitters but it shouldn't have carried through the whole first half. We got gun shy at the end and it made us a little more hesitant, which doesn't work for us."

The Broncos did hold a 40-27 advantage on the glass.

"We had a good rebounding effort today," said Payne. "They were pretty even in the first half but in the second half we did a really good job and that helped us come back a little."

Bego Faz Davalos scored a game-high 21 points. She added seven rebounds, six blocks, and five steals.

Shauquanna Collins scored 14 while three other Bulldogs scored six each.

After hitting the first shot of the game, a 3-pointer by Savanna Hanson, Santa Clara missed its next four shots and Fresno State used a quick 7-1 run to take a 7-4 lead early on and would never trail again.

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