SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Saint Mary's inside game was too much for Santa Clara women's basketball as the Gaels topped the Broncos 72-51 on Senior Day in Leavey Center.
The win gives Saint Mary's (20-9, 13-5 WCC) the No. 2 seed in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas while Santa Clara (9-20, 5-13 WCC) will be the ninth seed.
The Gales dominated the paint, outscoring the Broncos 40-15 down low while shooting 57.4-percent from the field and won the rebound battle 34-21.
Saint Mary's outscored Santa Clara 18-3 over the final 7:44 of the third quarter to blow the game open and take a 51-30 lead. The Broncos were just 1-for-9 during the stretch and turned the ball over four times.
Stella Beck led all scorers with 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. Megan McKay scored 11 and Sydney Raggio added 10.
Five in a row by Morgan McGwire early in the third got the Bronco deficit down to just six at 33-27 with 8:03 to go.
McGwire was one of four Broncos in double figures with 12 while also grabbing six boards. Fellow seniors Kyla Martin and Taylor Berry both scored 10 while Ashlyn Herlihy led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds.
An 11-2 run for Saint Mary's over six minutes in the second quarter turned a tie game into a 28-19 lead for the Gaels with 1:46 left in the period.
In the first, Santa Clara took a five-point lead with 6:17 to go behind a 7-0 run but the Gaels came back with nine in a row over the next two and a half minutes to lead 13-9 with 2:39 left in the period.
HIGHLIGHTS | Seniors Kyla Martin, Taylor Berry and Morgan McGwire all scored in double figures as part of their final game in Leavey Center today! FULL HIGHLIGHTS ▶️ https://t.co/jmyi5fHeek #SCUBroncos #StampedeTogether #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/7MfBbv2rFk— Santa Clara WBB (@Santaclarawbb) February 25, 2018
- Santa Clara is now 35-39 all-time against Saint Mary's.
- Taylor Berry made her 103rd consecutive start.
- Prior to the game, seniors Taylor Berry, Kyla Martin, and Morgan McGwire were honored.
- Morgan McGwire moved into a tie with Tracy Walker (2004-08) for the most games played in Santa Clara history with 120.
- Santa Clara had 12 assists on 17 field goals.
"Thank you to our three seniors for all they've done for our program. We're going to miss them next year."
Head coach Bill Carr
Santa Clara heads to the WCC tournament in Las Vegas to take on eighth-seeded Pepperdine at noon on Thursday.
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