Feb. 26, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team dropped an 80-67 decision to Gonzaga tonight in West Coast Conference action at the Leavey Center. Each Bulldog starter reached double digits in scoring, led by Ashley Burke's 18-point, 10-rebound performance, as Gonzaga improves to 16-10 overall, 9-4 in league play. Senior guard Whitney Sutak came off the bench for 15 points, but the Broncos fall to 8-18, 4-9.
Santa Clara presented a strong first half, shooting 52 percent from the field and making seven three-point field goals. Sutak had 10 of her 15 points by intermission. Junior guard Quinn Thomas, who had 10 points, registered five of her six assists on the night in the first period. Ashley Graham also reached double digits, adding 11 points.
Gonzaga shot 56 percent from the field in the second half to overcome a 10-point Bronco lead. Shannon Mathews nailed two threes, while Burke also scored twice to erase the deficit and take a one-point lead, 48-47, with 13:35 left to play. Zag Ashley Anderson then went on to score all 18 of her points to secure the visitor's victory.
Santa Clara pulled to within five on a jumper by senior forward Jennie Rondel, 65-60, with 5:47 remaining, but could get no closer. For the Bulldogs, Mathews added 13 points and seven assists, while Anne Bailey and Raeanna Jewell added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
In the first half, Gonzaga held a 21-20 lead midway through the frame, but both teams went on a scoring drought, adding no points to the scoreboard for three minutes. Freshman guard Anna Martin ended that streak with a three from the right wing to give Santa Clara its first lead since the opening basket. Burke hit two free throws to knot the score at 35 heading into the final minute. Freshman Kasey Monteith sent a post-to-post pass to fellow freshman Jenni Gottschalk, who easily scored to give the Broncos a two-point lead at intermission.
Thomas finished with two three-pointers and is now just three treys away from setting the new career mark. Currently at 155, she will look to surpass Julie Lienert's record of 157, set from 1988-91, on Saturday, when Santa Clara closes the regular season against Portland. Prior to the contest's 7 p.m. tip-off, Santa Clara will honor its two seniors, Rondel and Sutak.