STOCKTON, Calif. – Santa Clara women's basketball snapped a five-game losing streak with a complete offensive performance in a 88-83 win at Pacific Saturday afternoon.
The Broncos (11-14, 4-10 WCC) held off several runs from the Tigers (16-9, 9-6 WCC) behind a big first half from Ashlyn Herlihy and a big second half from Tia Hay, the team's leading scorers, and a 46-33 edge on the glass.
Herlihy picked up her third double-double in four games with a team-high 22 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc to go with 10 rebounds. Hay scored 17 of her 21 in the second half and was 9-for-10 from the charity stripe on the day.
Despite making their free throws down the stretch, Pacific stayed alive behind Ameela Li's long-range game and the team's solid free throw shooting. Li connected on two triples and three free throws from Lianna Tillman made it an 83-80 game with 32 seconds left.
Emily Wolph would be fouled on each of the next two Santa Clara possessions and convert all four attempts. She finished with nine points, all from the line.
Two 3-pointers from Li sandwiched around a free throw for Santa Clara got Pacific within two but the Broncos responded back two consecutive buckets to stretch their lead back out to 62-56 two minutes into the fourth.
Valerie Higgins led all scorers with 26 points and was 13-for-15 from the free throw line while adding 10 rebounds for the double-double. She also added seven assists. Li and Brooklyn McDavid both finished with 17 points with Li connecting on five from downtown.
Lindsey VanAllen connected from deep to end a 10-1 run for the Tigers that saw them get within 39-37 midway through the third.
VanAllen helped the Broncos offense with 14 points and Joeseta Fatuesi added 10.
After Pacific had again cut the deficit, this time down to four in the third, the Broncos went on a 15-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to lead by a game-high 15 points. Herlihy was at it again, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers with the second making it 54-39 at the 2:14 mark.
The Tigers wouldn't go away and ended the third on an 11-2 run to get within 56-50 after Higgins' three-point play.
Despite the back-and-forth, Santa Clara took the lead for good when it ended the first half on a 19-2 run to turn a six point deficit into a 11 point halftime lead. Herlihy led the charge with three 3-pointers, including the final basket of the first with five seconds on the clock to make it a 36-25 lead. Emily Wolph also helped during the final 5:16 by connecting on four free throws.
- Santa Clara is now 29-22 all-time against Pacific.
- With two blocks, Lauren Yearwood now has 64 on the year, good for third on the Santa Clara single-season list and No. 9 on the career list.
- The Broncos used the same starting lineup (Hay, Wolph, Jimenez, Herlihy, Yearwood) for the seventh consecutive game.
The Broncos return home for the final two games in Leavey Center, beginning with Gonzaga Thursday at 7 p.m.
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