Jan. 19, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - For the second-straight game the Broncos rode a fast start to a 13-point lead at halftime, but unlike last Saturday's loss to San Diego, Santa Clara fought off a late charge and claimed an important 67-62 victory over the second-place Pepperdine Waves Thursday night at the Leavey Center.
Although things got off to a slow start in the first few minutes, the Broncos heated up as the trio of Cronk, Cozad, and Anna Martin began firing away, accounting for 35 of Santa Clara's 39 first-half points. Cronk's four three-pointers helped SCU build a 38-18 lead with five minutes left in the half.
Both teams shot less than 40% from the floor in the first half, but the Broncos used six threes to build their advantage and went into the break with a 39-26 advantage.
Pepperdine began the second half with a 17-7 run that cut the Bronco lead to 46-43. But a Cozad three followed by a pair of Tracey Walker free throws gave SCU some breathing room at 51-43.
The Broncos continued to weather the storm from the Waves, answering each time Pepperdine tried to inch closer. With eight minutes remaining, Cozad came up with a clutch steal and consequently buried a three to push the Santa Clara advantage to nine, and when Tracey Walker answered a Waves bucket by converting a pair of free throws, the SCU edge held at 60-51.
The Waves cut that lead down to three at 62-59 with 4:41 remaining, and things stayed that way until the 1:35 mark when a Sherriel Boyd three knotted things up at 62. But Cozad answered with a clutch bucket as she was fouled and sank the bonus to put the Broncos back up by three.
Boyd had another chance to tie the game on the ensuing possession, but her three was off the mark, and Walker's rebound forced the Waves to foul. Walker sank the first to give SCU a two-possession lead at 66-62.
Following each team missing the front end of a one-and-one, the Waves held possession with 22 seconds left, but a missed effort led to another Bronco rebound, and Cozad iced things by hitting a free throw to account for the final point in the win.
Santa Clara returns to the Leavey Center Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. tip-off against the first-place Loyola Marymount Lions. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660.