Santa Clara Stifles Pacific Women's Hoops

Santa Clara Stifles Pacific Women's Hoops

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A cold shooting afternoon doomed the Pacific women's basketball team as Santa Clara posted a 68-51 West Coast Conference win Saturday afternoon in the Leavey Center.

GeAnna Luaulu-Summers finished with 19 points, her ninth straight game in double-figures, to go with five assists. Ameela Li scored 11 points with a pair of assists while Emily Simons finished with eight points and six rebounds.

The Santa Clara zone held Pacific to just 35 percent shooting, including 8-of-28 from three point range (29 percent). The Broncos also forced 19 turnovers, leading to 15 points.

Santa Clara connected at 43 percent, and hit 8-of-21 from three-point range. The Broncos built a second quarter lead by holding the Tigers off the board for over six minutes and kept the Tiger down double-figures the entire second half by getting to the free throw line.

Mauriana Clayton and Emily Wolph traded baskets to open the ballgame, and Owens hit a three-pointer for a 5-3 Pacific lead. Wolph answered back with a three-pointer and Luaulu-Summers hit a pull-up jumper as the Tigers and Broncos traded the lead. After a lay-up from Lori Parkinson, Luaulu-Summers connected from the elbow, but the Broncos led 12-9 after a lay-in from Morgan McGwire. Santa Clara stretched the lead to 20-10 on a pair of threes before the end of the quarter. The Broncos hit 3-of-6 from deep to the Tigers 1-of-8 as Pacific shot 25 percent in the first quarter.

Santa Clara scored the first five points of the second quarter as the Tigers went over six minutes without scoring. Luaulu-Summers hit a free throw to snap the scoreless drought, but a Marie Bertholdt it a three-pointer for a 28-11 Broncos lead. Jessica Blakeslee added an inside bucket, but Wolph connected again from deep. Emily Simons connected on a three-pointer, but the Tigers mustered only six points in the second quarter as Santa Clara stretched the lead to 34-16 at halftime.

The Tigers shot 21 percent in the first half against the Bronco zone, including 2-of-14 from three-point range. The Broncos also held a slight edge in rebounds (21-18) and turnovers (11-8). The Broncos connected at 45 percent for the half, including 5-of-11 from three-point land.

In the third, Luaulu-Summers drove and finished, and threes from  Ameela Li and Emily Simons closed the margin to 40-24. Luaulu-Summers added a baseline jumper for an 8-0 Pacific run. But Santa Clara stretched the lead back to 18, before Li hit another three-pointer. Li found Simons underneath as the Tigers closed within 46-31 headed into the fourth.

The Broncos tallied the first seven points out of the fourth before Jenelle Grant finished inside and Li picked up a steal and lay-up.  Luaulu-Summers added a three and a pair of free throws, but Wolph answered with a three. Luaulu-Summers struck back with a trey, and King added one late, but the Broncos worked the clock and kept the Tigers at bay.

Wolph led Santa Clara with 20 points, while Bertholdt finished with 15 points.

With the loss, Pacific falls to 9-16 overall, 5-9 in WCC play while Santa Clara improves to 12-13 overall and 7-7 in the WCC.

The Tigers will return home for a three-game home stand, starting with Portland on Thursday and Gonzaga on Saturday.