PALO ALTO, Calif. – Playing a nationally-ranked foe on the road, Santa Clara women's basketball knocked off No. 10 Stanford 61-58 on Monday night. It was the first win for the Broncos over Stanford since an 81-65 victory in Santa Clara on Dec. 4, 1998 and the first win in Palo Alto for the Broncos since Nov. 21, 1984 when they came away with a 69-46 win.
The upset was the first nonconference home loss against an unranked team for the Cardinal since Florida State took them down March 19, 2007 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Senior transfer Devin Hudson led Santa Clara (2-2) with 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Lori Parkinson scored 11 with a team-high nine boards while Morgan McGwire also scored 11 and grabbed seven rebounds. Savanna Hanson hit big free throws down the stretch and collected five steals.
"Big does not even begin to describe the enormity of being able to come in and compete with such a great team," said Santa Clara head coach JR Payne. "A lot of our success came from our toughness. Our goal was to win the 50-50 balls and really compete on the glass. Against a team like this with so much talent and that is so well coached, we didn't want to go individual-to-individual so we focused on playing a great team game. Everybody had each other's back. This is a huge step for us. We're just trying to inch our way up to be a strong team in this area with a lot of great teams and in a great conference."
After Stanford tied the game at 47-all with 4:17 left in the game, McGwire hit a pair of free throws and Hudson put back her own missed layup just more than a minute later to give the Broncos a four-point cushion.
"It feels amazing. I'm still in shock. It was a great team effort all across the board," said Hudson. "We talked to each other on the court the entire time, which is huge for us. I think I thanked Morgan [McGwire] about five times for having my back. It was just a great effort by the whole team. All week the coaches were preaching toughness and it paid off."
Stanford's Lili Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 2:48 left to chop the lead to 51-50, but the Broncos reeled off six straight points.
Then with time winding down and the Broncos up five, Thompson drained a three to make the score 60-58 with just 13 seconds on the clock. After Hanson knocked down a free throw, a desperation three by Thompson was no good and Santa Clara celebrated at the final buzzer.
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Santa Clara grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and forced 26 Stanford turnovers. The Broncos held the Cardinal to just 25.0 percent (6 of 24) shooting in the first half and had 15 steals for the game.
"Both Morgan [McGwire] and Lori [Parkinson] are capable of having big games like tonight where they bring the intangibles," said Payne. "I'm really proud of Morgan. I saw her rip some balls and get on the floor. We'd like to shoot better than 1 for 16 from three but if we can have these types of intangibles then we'll always have a chance."
Stanford (3-1) was led by Thompson's 21 points on 5 of 11 shooting from three. Erica McCall had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards while Karlie Samuelson scored eight and hit two threes.
With Santa Clara up 10 points, Stanford went on an 8-0 run over 1:23 in the fourth quarter to grab the momentum. The Broncos were 0-6 from the field during a three-minute scoring drought. Hudson grabbed an offensive rebound and went to the line for a pair to get the Broncos back on the board.
The Cardinal were able to tie the game with 4:17 on the clock in the fourth quarter but Santa Clara answered right back with a 7-0 run over three minutes.
Stanford got out to a three-point lead early in the third quarter but the Broncos came charging back with a 7-0 run to take a 31-27 lead. Brooke Gallaway hit a big three and Parkinson hit a break away layup to cap the run.
Due to a malfunctioning shot clock with four minutes to go in the second quarter, there was a 15-minute delay on the court. After the issue was resolved, Stanford came out and hit a three to cut the deficit in half. The Cardinal would end up on a 6-0 run over two and a half minute to tie the game.
"I've never been a part of something like that," said Payne of the long delay. "We just tried to stay loose and kept talking about what we were going to do on each end of the floor. It didn't go well for us in the minute following the stoppage but it worked out."
The Broncos pushed the lead to double-digits for the first time in the final minute of the third quarter. Parkinson scored six straight points for Santa Clara and the Broncos took a 41-33 lead into the final quarter of action.
Santa Clara started the game on an 8-2 run over the first eight minutes on buckets from four different players. The Bronco defense held Stanford to just 1-10 from the field and forced seven turnovers. The Cardinal ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to make it an 8-all game at the end of the first.
Stanford took the lead briefly to start the second on a free throw but the Broncos came roaring back and midway through the quarter got the lead up to 19-13 on a jumper by Taylor Berry and a fast break layup by Kyla Martin.