Slade's career-high 22 points lift BYU over Santa Clara

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Shawnee Slade topped her career high from the free throw line alone.

Slade scored 11 of her career-high 22 points from the line and pulled down 10 rebounds to help Brigham Young (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) end its two-game losing streak by beating Santa Clara 77-63 Wednesday.

Slade, who had never scored more than 10 points in a game, had 13 in the second half and finished 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.

Slade got her second career double-double and tied her best mark for rebounds for the Cougars (3-2), who outrebounded the Broncos 44-31.

"Working hard just brings everything together, especially defensively and getting to the boards," Slade said. "I think all of us knew that we had to pick it up."

Since upsetting then-No. 4 Stanford in the preseason WNIT, the Cougars lost back-to-back games to No. 16 Baylor and at Fresno State. They had almost a week to recover from the heavy travel and after a small scare midway through the second half, the Cougars put away the Broncos (3-2).

"When you lose games, you have a hard time getting on track sometimes. We made mistakes, but at the end I thought we executed really well," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said.

Mallary Gillespie scored 14 and Melinda Johnsen had 10 points, including a four-point play that put BYU in front 59-55.

Ashley Graham led Santa Clara with 16 points. Tracey Walker and Jen Gottschalk added 10 points apiece for the Broncos, who shot 33 percent from the field.

"We had a lot of defensive breakdowns. Normally when there's a breakdown on the defensive end, the end result is usually that the offensive team is going to score," Santa Clara coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said. "And they were either scoring or we were fouling and putting them on the free-throw line."

BYU went 26-for-31 from the line while Santa Clara was just 13-for-20. The two teams were called for a combined 32 fouls in the second half and BYU took advantage by making 23 of 27.

Dani Wright, BYU's leading scorer and rebounder, missed much of the second half after getting her fourth foul early, but the others corralled the many misses by Santa Clara and pulled away at the end.

Johnsen added seven rebounds and Jennie Keele, who scored 12, also had seven boards for BYU.

Santa Clara tied it at 55 on Kasey Monteith's layup but Johnsen answered with a 3-pointer and was fouled by Brittany Purvis. Johnsen made the free throw to convert the four-point play with 6:31 left.

"It happened at a good time. I was lucky," Johnsen said. "We're all ready to shoot whenever. When we're open, take the shot. And luckily for me, I got a little nudge in the stomach, too, to make it a four point play."

Santa Clara missed at the other end and Johnsen broke free for a layup that extended the Cougars' lead to 61-55.