Feb. 13, 2005
MORAGA, Calif. - Santa Clara University posted a 70-55 West Coast Conference victory against Saint Mary's in women's basketball action tonight at the McKeon Pavilion. Santa Clara is now 12-11, 6-4. The Gaels move to 12-11, 4-6.
Saint Mary's was led by Triola Jackson, who netted 18 points and seven rebounds, and Maija Lahde posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Gaels had a distinct advantage at the free throw line, making 21-34, while the Broncos were only 12-16.
Santa Clara started the contest strong offensively, making seven of 10 from the field, including four of seven from behind the arc, to take an 18-3 lead. The Bronco defense was just as tough, forcing Saint Mary's to miss six of its first seven attempts. Cronk was especially effective, scoring the Broncos' first eight points.
Saint Mary's then countered, and held SCU without a point for almost five minutes, while going on an 11-2 run during a six-minute span to pull within six. The Bronco attack stayed strong and SCU almost doubled its lead to 34-18 with a three by Anna Martin at 5:31. SCU led 38-18 at 4:39, and held a 42-27 lead at halftime, after Tracey Walker found Cronk on the fast break for the final basket of the period.
Santa Clara out-shot the Gaels 47 percent to 25 percent, and held a 26-20 rebounding advantage.
In second-half action, two free throws by Jackson reduced SCU's lead to single digits 52- 43 at 8:40. Evynn Van Burger followed with a three to reduce the lead to eight on the Gaels' next possession. Michelle Cozad returned the lead to 10 with a baseline jumper.
"Especially on the road, it was good to come out with the momentum at the beginning of the game," SCU head coach Michelle Bento Jackson said. "But it was a tale of two halves. There were times in the second half where we lost composure for periods of time and were careless with the ball."
Senior guard Quinn Thomas returned to the line-up after missing six games due to a left knee injury. After scoring seven points tonight, she is four points away from becoming the 14th player in the Bronco program to reach the 1,000-point milestone, and the first since Becki Ashbaugh accomplished the feat in 2002. She finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Santa Clara remains on the road and will play two key league games in the Los Angeles area next week. The Broncos will face Pepperdine on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Waves' Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. Santa Clara will follow with a 2 p.m. Saturday match-up at Loyola Marymount's Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. The Waves are currently one-half game behind the Broncos in the league race, while LMU has a one-game advantage in second place.