Santa Clara holds on to defeat Pacific

Santa Clara holds on to defeat Pacific

Pacific women's basketball (16-9, 9-6 WCC), fell on senior day to Santa Clara (11-14, 4-10 WCC), 88-83.

Pacific's offense struggled to get going in the game shooting just 32% as a team, while Santa Clara shot 50%. However, the Broncos were careless with the ball and turned it over 22 times to help the Tigers stay in the game. Pacific made it a close one late in a high-scoring fourth quarter, but could not complete the comeback.

Pacific's sophomore guard Valerie Higgins led the Tigers with 26 points, 13 of which came from the free throw line. Senior guard Ameela Li had 17 points and Brooklyn McDavid had 17 points as well in the victory.

For Santa Clara, Tia Hay and Ashlyn Herlihy both scored at least 20 points with 21 and 22 respectively. Herlihy shot 7-9 from the field and 5-7 from long range to lead her team she had 10 points as well to record a double-double.

Pacific led by as much as seven points in the second quarter, but the Broncos got rolling with a 16-0 run to close out the half that erased Pacific's lead and turned it into a 10-point Santa Clara lead with 1:40 to go in the second half. Santa Clara led 36-25 heading into the break.

Pacific fought back and outscored Santa Clara 25-20 in the third quarter and 33-32 in the fourth. Late in the game, the Tiger offense got going led by Li's 14-point performance in which she shot 4-8 from three-point range. Had Santa Clara not made its free throws once they entered the bonus in the final two minutes, the Tigers' host offense likely would have completed the comeback and pulled out a victory to send off seniors Li and Chelsea Lidy in style.

With the loss, Pacific remains in fifth place with a one-game lead over Loyola Marymount, which fell to fourth-place Pepperdine on Friday night. Saint Mary's win at home over San Francisco give the Gaels sole possession of third place while things tightened at the top of the standings with BYU defeating first place Gonzaga to cut the Bulldogs lead to just a half game.

With all of their home games in the rearview mirror, Pacific will hit the road for two games in the greater Los Angeles area next week. Pacific plays Pepperdine on Thursday at 7 p.m. and take on Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 2 p.m.