March 5, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University senior Jennie Rondel scored a career-high 28 points in leading the Bronco women's basketball team against Pepperdine this afternoon in the second round of the West Coast Conference Championship. Unfortunately for SCU, the 2003-04 season ended with an 82-77 loss and a 9-20 record.
Pepperdine (17-11) advances and will play Gonzaga, the tournament's second seed, tomorrow at approximately 2 p.m. Portland opened today's action with a 76-64 victory and will play top-seeded Loyola Marymount tomorrow at noon.
After suffering two 20-point defeats to the Waves during the regular season, Santa Clara put Pepperdine on its heels in the tournament, taking a five-point lead midway through the second half. The Broncos set a WCC single-game record for the second straight day, this time notching 13 three-point field goals in the contest, besting the 2002 Bronco squad's record of 11, set against Saint Mary's in the semifinal. It was the Broncos' eight second-half threes that kept the contest close and forced overtime.
Santa Clara is now 9-9 all-time in extra-period games, and 4-4 at home. The loss prevented SCU from advancing to the semifinals of the Championship for only the second time in seven years.
Quinn Thomas added 14 points, with her first three of the afternoon setting a new career record in three-point field goals made, besting Julie Lienert's mark of 157, set in 1988-91. Thomas made four and currently has 161. Freshman Ashley Graham added 11 points for the Broncos. Pepperdine was led by Shandrika Lee's 23 points, while Jennifer Lacy added an 18-point, 11-rebound performance. Shanell Law and Shannon Mayberry also reached double figures, contributing 14 and 10 points, respectively. Nicole Funn pulled down 10 boards and a game-high six assists.
Pepperdine opened a 7-0 lead before two threes from Rondel sparked the Bronco offense. Santa Clara led 12-11 at 12:48, but then went almost eight minutes without a point. The Waves scored 14 points in that span to take control of the half. Pepperdine led by as much as 15, but the Broncos reduced it to 10 by intermission, 32-22, on a putback at the buzzer by freshman Kasey Monteith.
Thomas hit her historic three at 16:45 to spark a Bronco comeback. Graham added two threes, while Rondel also contributed a trey that took a 41-31 SCU deficit into a 47-46 lead with 13 minutes to play. Santa Clara led by as much as five, 55-50, on another Thomas triple. Five points from Lacy helped Pepperdine tie the game at 57 at the 6:39 mark. The Waves would move ahead by six at 1:51, but back-to-back threes from Rondel and Thomas kept the crowd of 849 on their feet.
Thomas stole the ball in Wave territory and scored yet another three, to tie the game at 63-63 heading into the final minute. Her running jumper with nine seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime, where Law scored six of her 14 points to secure the Wave victory.