PORTLAND, Ore. – A blazing start for Portland was too much for Santa Clara women's basketball to overcome in a 84-62 defeat in the Chiles Center Thursday night.
The Pilots (15-10, 8-6 WCC) started the game red hot from the field, scoring the first 10 points before the Broncos (9-15, 3-10 WCC) finally got a bucket. Portland then followed it up with a 9-0 run to take a 19-2 lead five minutes in. During the torrid stretch, Portland was 10 of 12 from the floor including a stretch of nine in a row that featured four 3-pointers.
For the game, the Pilot shot 51.7-percent from the field, led by Alex Fowler and Haylee Andrews. Both players scored 25 points with Fowler shooting 10 of 13 from the field and Andrews going 8 of 9. Kate Andersen also added 12 on 5-for-9 shooting with a game high nine boards.
During the first quarter Portland was 11 of 18 shooting and 4 of 5 from downtown while Santa Clara was 3 of 14 from the floor and 2 of 6 from beyond the arc. The Broncos finished the game shooting 36.2-percent from the field and 4 of 19 from downtown.
The Broncos used a 9-2 run in the second quarter and started to make a dent in the deficit. Ashlyn Herlihy scored four points with Merle Wiehl adding five. Her layup at 7:59 made it 33-19.
Wiehl tied her career high, achieved two other times this season, with 19 points and was 8 of 14 from the field and 3 of 7 from downtown. Tia Hay and Naomi Jimenez both added eight points with Emily Wolph and Erica Meyer scoring seven apiece.
Right after Santa Clara started to make some noise, the Pilots caught fire again and used a 12-3 run to stretch the lead to 22. Fowler scored four in a row during the run and Andersen closed it with an and-one to give her team a 48-26 lead with 2:40 left in the first half.
The Broncos managed to finish the game on a 10-2 run after Portland got up a game high 30 points with 2:18 left.
Santa Clara's first burst of offense was a 6-0 run over 40 seconds on back-to-back triples from Wiehl midway through the first. Before Wiehl's baskets, Santa Clara was just 1-for-8 shooting.
- Santa Clara is now 46-32 all-time against Portland.
- Emily Wolph was in the starting lineup for the seventh straight game and Naomi Jimenez made her fifth consecutive start.
The Broncos head up to Spokane to take on No. 15/15 Gonzaga Saturday at 2 p.m.
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