STOCKTON, Calif. – In the final road action of the regular season, Santa Clara women's basketball beat Pacific 61-51 Thursday night.
Santa Clara (14-14, 9-8 WCC) used its size advantage over Pacific (9-21, 5-12 WCC) to outscore the Tigers 36-18 in points in the paint. The easy buckets helped make-up for the fact that the Broncos were just 4-for-22 from beyond the arc.
The Tigers got within 55-49 with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. GeAnna Luaulu-Summers knocked down a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer during the run. Santa Clara didn't make a field goal for the final five minutes of action but maintained their lead by scoring six points form the free throw line.
The Broncos used a 19-5 run over the final six minutes of the first quarter to take a lead that they would never surrender. Marie Bertholdt and Taylor Berry both knocked down triples and Bertholdt was fouled on a desperation shot at the end of the period for three free throws to put the Broncos up 21-12.
Morgan McGwire and Bertholdt both scored 18 points to lead all scorers. McGwire also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and was 9-for-11 from the field. Bertholdt was just 4-for-17 from the field while attempting a career-high 11 3-pointers with just two going in. She made up for it by going 8-for-10 from the free throw line and grabbing eight boards.
Every time Pacific would go on a run and get the game close, Santa Clara responded with a run of their own to pull away. The Bronco defense led to their offense as they forced 19 turnovers, including 14 steals, that led to 24 points.
After a 7-0 run by Pacific to start the second half got the Tigers within 34-30, Santa Clara answered with 12-straight points. McGwire scored eight of the points, including a layup with 1:32 to go in the third that put the Broncos on top 46-30.
Jessica Blakeslee's 3-pointer with 3:17 left in the opening half capped a 9-0 run for Pacific. The run got the Tigers within 27-21. The Broncos were to hold Pacific without a field the remainder of the half and stretched their lead to 34-23 at the half.
Luaulu-Summers led Pacific with 12 points and had five rebounds to go with four assists. Callie Owens added 11 points.
Santa Clara finishes the regular season Saturday vs. Saint Mary's at 2 p.m. The Broncos will honor Bertholdt, Lori Parkinson, and Beth Carlson prior to the game for Senior Day.
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