SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A tough day from beyond the arc was too much for Santa Clara women's basketball to overcome in a 54-44 defeat at the hands of BYU in Leavey Center Saturday afternoon in the West Coast Conference opener.
The Broncos (7-5, 0-1 WCC) were just 4-for-27 from beyond the arc and shot 29.1-percent from the floor overall. The Cougars (9-3, 1-0 WCC) weren't much better from deep at 3-for-11 but converted from inside the arc at a better rate.
"I thought we got some really good looks that we didn't make that would have put more pressure on them against our defense," Santa Clara head coach Bill Carr said. "We guarded and it kept them to a number that still gave us a chance if we had started making some shots. Credit them. They're physical and they defended and put us in positions that we weren't as comfortable with."
Joeseta Fatuesi tied the game at 41-all to open the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired but Santa Clara went just 1-for-14 from the field the rest of the way, including missing the final nine shots. BYU took advantage, including a 7-0 run over the final four minutes of the game.
"For 35 minutes I thought it was OK," Carr said. "We were competing. Then we started standing around and hoping someone else would go make a play."
The Cougars trailed for the last time with 4:07 left in the third when they turned a one-point deficit into a 39-34 lead over two and a half minutes with a 6-0 run.
Shaylee Gonzales scored a game-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Cougars. Brenna Chase and Paisley Johnson both added 10 as well.
A pair of 3-pointers for Lindsey VanAllen sandwiched around a jumper from Ashlyn Herlihy gave Santa Clara an 8-0 run that put the Broncos up 21-18 with 4:13 left in the second quarter in what might have been their best stretch of offense on the day.
Tia Hay's 11 points led Santa Clara despite going 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. She added five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Fatuesi also scored eight with Lauren Yearwood grabbing a game-high nine rebounds.
The first quarter ended on a 9-0 run for the Cougars to put them on top 13-9 at the break. BYU knocked down four shots in a row while Santa Clara missed its final seven of the period while not scoring for the final 2:42.
- Santa Clara is now 2-17 all-time against BYU.
- The Broncos had 11 assists on 16 made baskets
- Every Santa Clara player that got in the game picked up at least one rebound.
Santa Clara warps-up the opening week of conference play at home against San Diego Monday at 2 p.m.
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