Jan. 6, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team overcame a slow start and fought their way back into Friday night's WCC opener against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, but in the end the Bulldogs' size was too much as they captured a 70-60 victory.
Tracey Walker led three Broncos in double-figures with 17 points, while Michelle Cozad posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Kayla Huss added 13 points. Walker also pulled down nine rebounds and made off with six steals.
But the boards proved to be Santa Clara's undoing, as Gonzaga out-rebounded the Broncos by a 49-30 margin, led by the double-double performances of Ashley Anderson (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Stephanie Hawk (16 points, 12 rebounds).
The Broncos struggled early from the floor, connecting on only three of their first 19 attempts as the Bulldogs built a 20-10 lead midway through the first half. Santa Clara ended up shooting 34.9% from the field for the night.
Hawk's 13 points and eight rebounds helped the Bulldogs to their largest advantage of the half at 33-16 before the Broncos began to chip away.
Behind nine points and eight rebounds from Cozad and Walker's eight points and five steals, Santa Clara was able to put together a 9-2 run to close out the half and cut the Gonzaga advantage to 10 at 35-25.
The Broncos came out firing at the start of the second half, cutting the Bulldog advantage to 39-34 and building some momentum. But the Broncos could not sustain the rally and Gonzaga regained the upper-hand, building their lead to 11 at 52-41 at the 11:30 mark.
Santa Clara managed to cut the Gonzaga lead to six at one point and to eight at various times later in the second half, but they could not sustain their advantages as the Bulldogs recovered and rebuilt the lead each time, keeping the Broncos at bay until the final buzzer.
The Broncos will next travel south to Portland to conclude their swing through the Pacific Northwest, taking on the Portland Pilots Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.