Feb. 9, 2001
LOS ANGELES --Down seven points at the half, the Broncos went on a 19-5 run in the second period to record their fourth come-from-behind conference victory in a 69-63 win over Loyola Marymount tonight at Gersten Pavilion to remain tied for first place in West Coast Conference standings.
Santa Clara improves to 16-5 overall and remains atop the WCC standings with a 7-2 overall mark. The Broncos are tied with Pepperdine, winners tonight against San Diego. Loyola Marymount, 15-7, 6-3, falls a game back into second place. Tonight's win gives Santa Clara a 29-6 lead in the all-time series and marks the fourth sweep of the Lions in the last five seasons.
The Broncos will face Pepperdine tomorrow night in Malibu, with the winner becoming the frontrunner in the WCC race. That game will begin at 7 p.m. at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Five players reached double figures in scoring for the Broncos, led by junior guard Caroline Gruening's 14 points. Senior forward Jennifer Glysson recorded her second straight game with a double-double, contributing 11 points and 10 rebounds tonight.
LMU's Kate Murray led all scorers with 22 points, 17 of which came in the first half.
"We really fielded two different teams in the first and second half," head coach Chris Denker said. "I think we were kind-of sleepwalking through the first half. We had good intentions and I know the kids were ready to play, but when they got on the floor, they were tentative and waiting for things to happen. In the second half, they didn't wait, they went out and made plays."
The second half opened with the Broncos outscoring the Lions 19-5, including a 16-3 run during a four-minute span. Junior guard Becki Ashbaugh drove to the hoop and scored at 16:14 to give the Broncos a 35-34 lead, after being down by seven at the half, 32-35. She converted a free throw for the three-point play. The next trip down the court saw Ashbaugh dish a no-look pass to sophomore forward Julie Butler for a quick score. Senior guard Kim Sorenson recorded a baseline three to extend the lead only to see it countered by the Lions' Raelen Self, who answered with her own three. Not to be outdone, Bronco Gruening recorded a three and a layin, followed by another Sorenson three and the Broncos were up 49-37.
Loyola's Adrianne Slaugher posted five points in one minute to reduce the Broncos' lead to three with just over three minutes remaining in the contest. Up by five with 19 seconds left, LMU almost pulled to within two, but Bryn Bitton's three-point attempt rattled in-and-out of the basket to secure the Bronco victory.
Although Ashbaugh made her first three attempts from the charity stripe, she missed her final two, ending a streak of 24 straight points from the free throw line that was spread over eight games.
LMU opened the game with an early seven-point advantage, as SCU did not hit a field goal until a Butler putback at the 15-minute mark made the score 11-4. A baseline three-pointer from Ashbaugh cut the lead to two, at 17-15, with seven minutes left, but allowed Loyola to extend the lead back to seven at intermission.