SAN FRANCISCO – Despite trailing by 12 at the half, Santa Clara women's basketball mounted a come-from-behind 71-66 overtime victory at San Francisco Saturday afternoon for the Broncos first West Coast Conference win of the year.
Santa Clara (8-6, 1-2 WCC) dominated the third quarter and finished the comeback with under 10 seconds to go in the fourth before a defensive stand sent the game into extra time.
The Dons (5-9, 1-2 WCC) took a two-point lead early in the overtime but the Broncos scored the next seven points with Tia Hay knocking down four from the free throw line in the final 10 seconds to ice the game.
"Coming off our last loss at home, it would have been very easy to buckle when we were 12 down," Santa Clara head coach Bill Carr said. "But we chipped away and got it back to a manageable number. We showed a lot of character in going on the road to get a good win after a tough loss. It was just a gutsy win. I'm really proud of the team."
Hay finished with 21 on 7-for-16 shooting and hit three 3-pointers while also adding four assists and four steals.
The two teams found themselves in overtime thanks to the game's leading scorer, Lindsey VanAllen. Down three with 7.2 on the clock in the fourth, the hot-shooting VanAllen connected on a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 60.
VanAllen scored a career-high 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting and was 5-for-9 from downtown.
"Lindsey did an unbelievable job," Carr said. "She made some big shots and got some steals for us. She really put pressure on their defense. She played great."
After the game was tied, the Broncos came up with a big stop, backed by one of Naomi Jimenez's two blocks on the day. Ashlyn Herlihy also had a big day with a double-double (13 points/10 rebounds).
A layup from Lexie Pritchard at the 8:04 mark of the fourth gave Santa Clara a brief 46-45 lead but the Dons came back with triples from Shannon Powell and Mia Alexander and an 8-0 run to get their lead back out to 53-46.
Powell finished with a team-high 14 while also grabbing seven rebounds and Alexander scored 13 on 4-for-5 shooting but dealt with foul trouble. Julia Nielacna added 12 as well for San Francisco.
The Dons began to pull away in the first half when Alexander scored six in a row over a minute in the second quarter, including knocking down a 3-pointer, that started a 14-3 run over the next five minutes that saw San Francisco take a 31-20 lead with 2:14 to go in the opening half.
- Santa Clara is now 62-39 all-time against San Francisco.
- Lauren Yearwood's 38 blocks this season have her tied at seventh on the Santa Clara single season list.
- Naomi Jimenez returned to action after missing the last three games with injury.
- Lindsey VanAllen made her first career start.
- Santa Clara forced 26 turnovers.
The road trip continues for Santa Clara at Pepperdine Thursday at 7 p.m.
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