SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to avenge an overtime loss earlier in the season, Santa Clara women's basketball beat San Francisco 74-61 Thursday night in Leavey.
The Broncos (11-13, 6-7 WCC) used a big third quarter to pull away from the Dons (13-11, 7-6 WCC). Santa Clara outscored San Francisco 27-12 during the period and were 9-for-11 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
A 14-3 run for Santa Clara over three minutes in the period was the turning point in the game. Marie Bertholdt scored six points and Lori Parkinson scored five, including a 3-pointer. Morgan McGwire capped the run with a triple at the 1:36 mark to put the Broncos on top 53-38.
A late push by the Dons got them within 71-60 after a 9-1 run but it was too little too late and Santa Clara righted the ship to hold on.
"We did a good job of getting separation but in conference play, against good teams, they're always going to make a run at you," Santa Clara head coach Bill Carr said. "You have to be ready for that. We let up a little bit there at the end but got our feet back under us and finished it off strong."
All five Bronco starters scored in double-figures to lead the charge. Parkinson led the Broncos with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and added six rebounds. Emily Wolph scored 14 and knocked down three from distance with five assists. Marie Bertholdt scored 13 while Morgan McGwire and Taylor Berry each added 12.
"Obviously, that's great balance," Carr said. "Everybody was doing their job and sharing the ball. That's hard to play against if you have five people that can go into double-figures."
Santa Clara shot 50.0 percent from the field and was 8-for-15 from 3-point land. It was the highest shooting percentage for Santa Clara this season against a Division I opponent. The Broncos also shot 50 percent against UC Santa Cruz.
"We turned them over a little bit that led to run-outs," Carr said. "We got some layups that helped our percentages. We also had a little better patience and got better shots."
The Dons went on a 14-4 run to close out the first quarter and start the second to get on top 21-14. Rachel Howard scored seven of the San Francisco points, including a 3-pointer to start things off.
Howard led all scorers with 26 points and knocked down five 3-pointers.
"She had a really good game and she's a really good player," Carr said. "We did everything we could to focus on stopping her and she still god 26. That's what good players do."
Parkinson scored eight-straight Santa Clara points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, over two minutes near the end of the first half. A tough layup by Bertholdt on the last possession of the half gave Santa Clara a 30-29 lead going into the locker room and momentum for the final 20 minutes.
The Broncos return to the floor Saturday at 2 p.m. vs. Pacific in the finale of a four-game homestand.
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