Pacific Women's Basketball Tripped Up at Santa Clara, 52-47
The Pacific women's basketball team dropped a physical contest at Santa Clara Thursday night, 52-47, at the Leavey Center. Pacific was led by 15 points from Danielle Peacon (Sparks, Nev.) who finished a rebound shy of her second-straight double-double.
Pacific used a 10-2 run over six minutes late in the second half to take a one-point lead, but Santa Clara eeked out the victory on behind Lena Gipson and Meagan Fulps. Gipson paced the Broncos with a career-high 22 rebounds to go with 11 points and the basket that proved to be the game-winner. Fulps was the game's high scorer with 15 points for SCU.
The Tigers offense struggled to get going, as Pacific shot 28 percent in the first half and finished the game at 32 percent (20-62). Freshman guard Gena Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif) added nine points while sophomore Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) tallied seven.
The defensive battle, which was the lowest-scoring Pacific game of the season by total points, was the third game this season Pacific has lost by five points or less. The Tigers fall to 3-7 on the season.
The Tigers opened the game with back-to-back three pointers for a 6-0 lead and forced four early turnovers. But Santa Clara responded with an 11-0 run as the Pacific offense went cold. A jumper by Alyssa Shoji gave the Broncos an 18-12 lead with 10:30 left in the half.
A three pointer from sophomore guard Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) pulled Pacific to within four with 4:49 before the break, and a jumper from Peacon trimmed the margin to 25-22 Santa Clara at the half.
In the second, Pacific came out energized, attacking the basket and narrowing the gap to one, 29-28, on back-to-back jumpers from Peacon and Johnson. However, Ashley Armstrong answered for Santa Clara with a three-pointer with 15:03 to go in the ballgame.
Pacific kept pulling the Santa Clara lead back to one, on a three-pointer from Erica McKenzie, a basket from Peacon, and a driving lay-up from Johnson. But back-to-back three-pointers from Fulps and Shoji quickly stretched the lead to seven again with 8:50 remaining in the contest.
The Tigers then went on a 10-2 run, holding Santa Clara to one field goal over the next 6:34. A lay-up from Rodriguez, and another lay-up from Johnson cut the margin to three, and after a Johnson free throw, Peacon delivered a go-ahead three-pointer with 2:16 to go in the ball game, popping out to the top of the key and giving Pacific a 47-36 lead.
From there, things went awry for the Tigers. After a phantom foul called on Peacon, Santa Clara inbounded and Gipson grabbed an offensive rebound and finished amid contact. Her three-point play gave the Broncos the lead for good, 49-47 with 1:06 remaining.
Pacific turned the ball over on an errant entry pass into the post, and the Broncos' Telisha Anderson knocked down a baseline jumper to make it a two-possession game. The Tigers came up empty on the offensive end and an Anderson free throw rounded out the scoring.
Peacon finished with three of the Tigers six blocks, while senior guard Jennifer Fath handed out five assists. Johnson picked up five rebounds, and scored seven of her nine points in the second half, as she drove to the rim for layups. Sophomore guard Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) recorded a career-high five steals.
Santa Clara out-rebounded Pacific, 46-37, to win despite a 22-8 Tigers advantage in points in the paint. Pacific was out-rebounded for just the second time in the last seven games.
The Tigers will return to the Alex G. Spanos Center for their first home game since Dec. 1, as Pacific takes on Portland on Sunday at 2 p.m.