SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A steal by Keilani Unga ended a last-minute Bronco comeback attempt, helping the BYU women’s basketball team shut down Santa Clara 65-48 on the road Saturday afternoon.
BYU improves to 15-6 on the season and 6-2 in West Coast Conference play, good for second place in the league. Santa Clara falls to 12-10 and 4-5 in conference.
"Santa Clara is one of those teams that is in the top five in the league," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "It's hard to beat them here. We needed to win a road game with tough competition, and that's what we got tonight."
Haley Steed led all scorers with 17 points while also contributing six assists and four steals. Unga put up 13 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
Steed threw down two deep 3-pointers and a field goal during a 10-2 Cougar run to start the game. Steed hit a second jumper with 13:18 on the clock to bring her points total to 10 and BYU’s lead to 12-6.
A trey by Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn gave the Cougars their first 10-point lead of the game at 17-7 with 10:35 left in the first half. Free throws by Kim Parker Beeston kicked the lead up to 28-11, capping a 7-0 BYU scoring streak.
The Cougars headed into halftime with a 30-17 lead.
Another 7-0 run opened second-half scoring for the Cougars. Seaborn knocked down another trey with nine minutes to go, giving BYU its largest lead of the game at 51-29.
Santa Clara attempted a comeback late in the half with a 12-0 run started by a 3-pointer from Bronco Meagan Fulps. Ricki Radanovich hit another SCU trey, cutting BYU’s lead to only nine points with just under four minutes left.
A steal by Unga led to a jumper by Beeston, cutting off the Broncos’ advance with 1:49 to play. BYU ended the game with six free throw attempts.
Next up for the Cougars is a return to the Marriott Center to host San Diego on Thursday at 6 p.m. MST.
Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.