MALIBU, Calif. – Once again Santa Clara women's basketball had a chance for a game-winning shot but lost its conference opener 56-55 at Pepperdine Thursday afternoon.
The Broncos (4-8, 0-1 WCC) had the ball at midcourt with 6.1 seconds to go after a missed 3-pointer for the Waves (5-6, 1-0 WCC) but Kyla Martin's potential game-winning jumper from the elbow hit the back rim.
Martin finished the day with a game- and career-high tying 17 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.
After a 3-pointer from Rose Pflug with 2:09 to go pushed the Pepperdine lead to 55-50, Santa Clara used five from the free throw line to get within one. On the night, the Broncos went 15-of-19 from the free throw line while the Waves were just 5-of-13.
Taylor Berry made back-to-back layups for Santa Clara midway through the fourth to get the Broncos on top 47-46. She finished with a double-double (11 points/12 rebounds.)
Morgan McGwire had a career-night down low by setting a program record with nine blocks. She nearly had a triple-double, finishing with eight points and 12 rebounds.Pepperdine scored 10 in a row over three and a half minutes in the third quarter to take a 42-32 lead but Santa Clara came right back with a 9-0 run of its own, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Ashlyn Herlihy.
Yasmine Robinson-Bacote had a double-double for the Waves with a team-high 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Pflug added 11 points while knocking down three from deep.
Santa Clara went on a 9-0 run over four minutes early in the second quarter to take a 23-16 lead with 4:58 to go. Dru Toleafoa led the way with five of her seven points on a 3-pointer and two from the charity stripe. During the run, Pepperdine missed eight shots in a row.
Four turnovers and a missed layup by the Broncos over the final 1:46 of the first half allowed the Waves to tie the score at 30-all with five straight points.
- Santa Clara is now 39-36 all-time against Pepperdine.
- Taylor Berry made her 85th consecutive start.
- Ashlyn Herlihy made her first career start in place of Dru Toleafoa who had started the first 11 games.
- The teams tied in each quarter except the third when Pepperdine held a 12-11 advantage.
- Before today, the program record for blocks in a game was eight, set by Annie Garrison at Portland on Feb. 26, 2000.
- Martin, the team-leader in assists, picked up a team-high four in the game.
Santa Clara returns home to face Gonzaga Saturday at 2 p.m.
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