Jan. 21, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Coming off a big win against Pepperdine last Thursday, Santa Clara completed their sweep of the WCC's top two teams Saturday afternoon with a convincing 71-58 victory over the first-place Loyola Marymount Lions. With the win at the Leavey Center the Broncos snapped the Lions' eight-game winning streak.
"These were two huge wins for us this weekend," said Santa Clara head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, referring to Thursday's win against Pepperdine as well. "The most important thing is that we played with a lot of intensity and did a great job on rebounds in both games. It sent a message to our team that when our defense is on point like it was today, we will win games."
Kasey Monteith turned in a dominating performance for the Broncos (9-9, 3-2 WCC) as she tied career-highs with 16 points and nine rebounds while shooting 8-of-13 from the field. Monteith's effectiveness in the paint and on the boards helped the Broncos not only control the flow of the game but also to prevent the Lions (11-8, 5-1 WCC) from mounting a serious comeback, as the SCU lead never got to under eight in the last 26 minutes of the contest.
"Kasey's performance was huge for us today," Bento-Jackson noted. "With two post players out of today's game, we needed big performances from Kasey and Claire [Goins] and we got them. Kasey's focus began this morning when she came in to look at film and she went out there today and just steppede up for us."
Michelle Cozad paced the Broncos with her second double-double in as many games, scoring 25 and grabbing 11 rebounds in the win.
The game took off running. Within the first few minutes the Broncos went ahead and continued to pull away with lofty three pointers and aggressive rebounds. Kayla Huss, Anna Martin and Cozad all hit their first three-point attempts to give Santa Clara an early 9-7 lead, and from there SCU never trailed the rest of the way.
On the strength of eight points each from Monteith and Cozad and six from Tracey Walker, Santa Clara went into the locker room at the break with a 12-point lead at 37-25.
In contrast to their last two games, the Broncos were the hot team at the onset of the second half, riding six points from Monteith to a 13-4 run and a 50-29 lead with 15:46 left.
The Santa Clara lead got as large as 21 points at 54-33 before the Lions managed to cut the deficit to eight with four and a half minutes to play. Bianca and Rachel Ziemann accounted for 13 points during this run, but the Broncos buckled down and brought their lead back to double-digits following a pair of Cozad free throws 30 seconds later. From there SCU's staunch defensive effort stalled the Lion attack and vaulted the team to victory and second-place in the WCC.
The Broncos will now hit the road next weekend for two important games, first traveling an hour up the road to battle the San Francisco Dons Thursday night at 7 p.m. Santa Clara will then fly to the southern half of the state for a rematch against the Toreros of San Diego Saturday at 2 p.m.