By Courtney Carlston
The BYU women”s basketball team overcame a 19-point first-half deficit to clinch a 75-63 win over Santa Clara Thursday night, Dec. 4, in non-conference action at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif.
Despite an early lead for the visiting Cougars, Santa Clara managed to gain a five-point, 19-14, lead with less than seven minutes left to play in the first half. Santa Clara took the lead up 19 points before sophomore Nancy Seljaas ended the Broncos” run with back-to-back three-point baskets, both assists from junior Kali Taylor.
Senior Kestlee Dooley added a fade away jumper at the buzzer to cut the Broncos” lead to 10, 36-26, at the break.
The Cougars came back in the second half to start with an 8-0 run, outscoring the Broncos 17-6. The teams played closely throughout the second half, but the Broncos were unable to pull ahead.
“We kept them off the boards,” said assistant coach Stacey Jensen. “We started attacking the basket more in the second half. The people expected to contribute did their job.”
Junior Julie Sullivan came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points in 25 minutes. Sullivan also made critical free throws in the final minutes of play. BYU finished with six of seven free throws to seal the victory.
“We did a really good job just staying in the game and not giving up,” Sullivan said. “We do a good job at not getting down and just picking each other up when our shots aren”t going in.”
The Cougars finished the night out rebounding the Broncos 51-46. Sophomore Ambrosia Anderson grabbed a game-high 12 boards followed by 11 from teammate senior Ashleigh Chamberlain. Junior Danielle Cheesman took 10 and added 13 points to BYU”s victory. Taylor had a season high 13 points with nine from behind the arc.
“We played well defensively in the second half,” said head coach Jeff Judkins in a news release. “This was a total team effort tonight. We had a great comeback and we stuck together as a team.”
The win puts BYU at a 4-2 record for the season.
The Cougars head back to California to compete against Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
The Titans are lead by senior duo center Rochelle Ortega and guard Tamara Quinn. Both players finished last season tied for second on the team in scoring, nine points per game.
Ortega and Quinn are joined by a handful of newcomers: transfer Cynthia Sorrel and freshman Ariel Adams add depth to the inside, while guards India McDaniel and Charlee Underwood battle the backcourt.
Returning head coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah leads the team with an entirely new coaching staff, including former Cal Poly assistant coach Marcia Foster, Fullerton alumna Barb Bausch and former Titan All-American Euginia Miller-Rycraw.
The Titans will try to battle back from a 90-46 loss against Kansas in the first round of the Holiday Inn Jayhawk Classic. The loss put the Titans at a 0-4 record to start the season and extended their losing streak to seven games dating back to last season.
Following CS Fullerton, the Cougars travel to Arizona on Friday.