Feb. 7, 2002
PORTLAND, Ore. - Junior forward Tammy Annas led Santa Clara with 22 points, but it wasn't enough as the Broncos dropped a 80-73 decision to Portland in West Coast Conference women's basketball action tonight at the Chiles Centre. The Broncos fall to 16-6 overall, 6-3 in league play, while the Pilots even their record to 11-11 overall, and improves to 3-6 in the conference.
With a slim lead, Portland slowed down its offense with three minutes remaining, taking valuable time off the clock from the Broncos. Down by three with 30 seconds left, Santa Clara could not score and committed two turnovers and fouls. The Pilots converted all four free throws for the final margin.
Portland's Khalila O'Rielly-Williams led all scorers with a career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds. Teammate Da'Love Woods added 17 points, while Trish Felts finished with 14 points, making four three-pointers.
"We were just keeping up. That is not my philosophy and no offense to Portland, but we're not hoping to keep up," Santa Clara head coach Chris Denker said. "Unfortunately, that's exactly the attitude and mentality we played with, our girls were thinking 'let's just hang on, let's just keep up,' instead of 'let's get out there and shut them down.'"
Bronco junior forward Julie Butler finished with 17 points and five rebounds, while fellow junior forward Kendra Rhea led all Bronco defenders with 11 rebounds and added her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points. Senior guard Becki Ashbaugh finished with 11 points, and is now 15 away from becoming the 13th Bronco all time to notch 1,000 points in a career.
Portland started strong, with a majority of its offense coming from O'Rielly-Williams, who had 10 points in the game's first five minutes. The Broncos matched her efforts with nine early points from Annas, who led SCU with 11 at the half. Senior guard Caroline Gruening's three gave Santa Clara its first lead of the night, at 13-12. On Portland's next possession, a Gruening steal to Ashbaugh, who pulled up for a score, extended that lead. Later in the half, the Pilots went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-20 lead, but Butler ended that streak with an uncontested post move. The teams exchanged leads through the rest of the half. With 1:10 remaining in the period, Felts scored a baseline three and O'Rielly-Williams scored her 17th point of the half to cap an 8-2 Portland run that gave the Pilots a 43-39 halftime edge.
After trailing by as many as seven points in the second half, an Annas three gave SCU a 53-51 lead, the Broncos' first of the second half. But SCU then went four minutes without a field goal and trailed by six points with less than eight minutes remaining. Down 70-61 with 5:28 remaining, a Gruening three, followed by a reverse lay up from Annas and a post move from Butler, quickly reduced the deficit to two. SCU was unable to stop O'Rielly-Williams, as she reclaimed the momentum herself, with a post move followed by a steal and lay in to increase the Pilot lead to six at the three-minute mark.
The Broncos continue the road trip in Spokane, Wash., for a Saturday match-up against Gonzaga. The contest will start at 7 p.m. at the Martin Centre. Santa Clara's roster includes eight players from the state of Washington.