Feb. 22, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team defeated Saint Mary's 73-68 this afternoon in West Coast Conference action at the Leavey Center. The Broncos improve to 17-8 overall, 8-4 in league play, and close out the home season with an 8-4 mark. The Gaels fall to 11-14, 4-8.
The crowd of 927 at the Leavey Center closed out the home season on a high note. Santa Clara's five seniors were honored before tip-off and then went on to score 41 of the team's 73 points. Seniors Tammy Annas, Julie Butler and Kendra Rhea each scored 12 points, while Jennifer Bradley chipped in five. Rhea recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds to lead the Broncos.
Saint Mary's was led by Triola Jackson's 19 points and 13 rebounds. Lindsay Lopez and Evynn Van Burger added 14 points each.
Santa Clara almost let go of an 11-point lead in the final 10 minutes, allowing Saint Mary's to pull within one, 69-68, with 2:20 remaining. The score remained that way entering the final minute of regulation. A traveling violation was called on Lopez, but Santa Clara missed its chance to seal the victory on its next possession. With the crowd on their feet, Saint Mary's had another chance at the lead, but registered another turnover, this time with 14.3 seconds on the clock. Huss hit both of her free throws, making it a three-point advantage. Jackson missed a baseline three to tie the game, forcing the Gaels to foul. Annas sank both shots from the charity stripe for the final score.
The Gaels opened the contest with a 13-4 lead, but the Broncos caught up with two three-pointers from Quinn Thomas and a fast-break score from Rhea to pull within one, at 19-18. A steal and a lay-up by Sutak, followed by a three from Huss, and the Broncos had their first lead of the game, 32-31 with 3:45 left in the period.
Saint Mary's recaptured that lead right away, but a three-point play by Butler kept the Bronco offense hot, and Annas followed with back-to-back threes from the top of the key. A buzzer-beater lay-in by Sutak gave the Broncos a four-point lead at intermission, 43-39. Both teams shot well in the first period, with SCU just out-shooting SMC 50 to 45.7 percent.
Santa Clara's defense took over in the second half, as the Broncos took three charges in the first four minutes of the period. SCU took advantage of those defensive stops and built an 11-point lead midway through the half.
Santa Clara will close out the regular and West Coast Conference seasons on the road, visiting Gonzaga and Portland next week. Those matches can be followed via a live audio Internet broadcast on SantaClaraBroncos.com.