SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Nonconference play came to a close for Santa Clara women's basketball Thursday afternoon with a 75-55 victory over Grand Canyon in Leavey Center.
The Broncos (7-4) got double-figures from three players and shot 50.9-percent from the field to post their best offensive output in five games.
"We've found in the nonconference that we have really good balance," Santa Clara head coach Bill Carr said. "Everybody that's out there can put the ball in the basket in different ways. Today, we had really good contributions across the board and made some big shots when we needed them. Conversely, we got a couple stops when we needed to get some distance."
Tia Hay led the way with 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting while adding five assists. Lindsey VanAllen scored a career-high 15 and Lauren Yearwood was 6-for-7 from the floor with 15 points and seven rebounds while hitting her season average with three blocks. Joeseta Fatuesi added six points, seven rebounds, and four assists as well.
"I thought Lindsey played much more aggressively today and that led to her ability to put the ball in the basket," Carr said. "It really helped her on defense where she played well. Lauren hit a really big shot in the second half on the baseline and credit to Joe whose passing skills got us going early in the game."
The Broncos also won the battle of the boards 38-24.
"We did a much better job on the glass today," Carr said. "Even there, it's spread out. We have good rebounding balance. The guards got a few with the forwards and centers taking care of business down there."
The Lopes (2-8) were able to keep the game close until a 9-0 Santa Clara run at the end of the first quarter made it 21-10.
A jumper from Venla Varis got Grand Canyon within 37-30 in the opening minute of the second half but Santa Clara scored the next five and never led by single-digits again.
ShaRon Miller led the team with 12 points with AJ Cephas adding 11 and grabbing eight rebounds. Carla Balague scored 10 and Laura Piera dished out nine assists.
Even when the Santa Clara offense went cold midway through the second quarter, the Lopes couldn't take advantage. A jumper and a 3-pointer for Emily Wolph put the Broncos up 37-24 but they didn't score for the final 4:09 of the half. Grand Canyon was only able to score four points during the stretch to get within 39-30.
- Santa Clara is now 1-1 all-time against Grand Canyon.
- For the second consecutive game, the Broncos used a different starting lineup after using the same for the first eight games.
- Naomi Jimenez had her streak of 40 consecutive starts snapped. She had appeared in each of the team's 70 games since joining the program. She was out with an injury.
- Lexie Pritchard made her first career start.
- Santa Clara had 20 assists on 28 made basketballs and turned the ball over just 12 times.
The Broncos are off until Saturday, Dec. 29 when they host BYU in the West Coast Conference opener.
Connect with the Broncos on Social Media
Athletics: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Snapchat
Women's Basketball: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram