SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University began the second half on a 10-0 run and held on to its lead down the stretch as it defeated Utah Valley University 80-67 on Saturday the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif.
"We really battled hard. We were a little outmanned in the post but our kids gave a great effort," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "We wanted to make them beat us from the perimeter and they shot the ball well. I can't fault our kids' effort as they really competed until the end."
Despite the loss, senior Kaycee Mansfield led UVU (1-3) with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe. Fellow senior Sammie Jensen tallied her fourth double-double in as many games this season with 13 points and 11 boards, and sophomore Taylor Huber chipped in 14 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.
With the Wolverines leading 6-5 early in the contest, Santa Clara (2-1) went on a 13-2 run to take an 18-8 lead with 12:33 to go in the first half. The Broncos later added to their advantage and pushed it to as many as 17, at 31-14, in the half.
A 3-pointer from Huber later ignited an 8-0 Wolverine run that pulled UVU to within eight at 33-25 with 3:30 to go until halftime. With the Wolverines later trailing by nine in the closing seconds of the half, sophomore Tina Doughty drained a deep 3-pointer to cut the deficit to just six points at intermission (40-34).
A turning point in the game was when the Broncos held UVU scoreless for the first 5:30 of the second half. During the stretch, SCU turned its six-point lead into at 16-point one as it scored the first 10 points of the half. Ruta Zurauskyte led the Bronco rally with eight points during the run
Santa Clara extended its advantage to 22-points a few minutes later, but UVU kept competing until the final whistle as it cut the deficit to 11 in the final minute of play.
Behind Mansfield, Jensen and Huber, senior Alle Finch Cardwell added eight points and Doughty chipped in seven.
Zurausyyte led SCU with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. Meagan Fulps and Ashley Armstrong also added double figures for the Broncos with 15 and 13 points respectively. Fulps also surpassed 1,000 points for her career in the game.
The Wolverines will conclude their week-long three-game road trip at Sacramento State on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. MT. UVU will then come home to take on Long Beach State on Black Friday, Nov. 23.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.