Jan. 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team grinded its way to a 66-61 victory over the WCC's best defensive team in the San Francisco Dons at War Memorial Gymnasium Thursday night. The victory extended SCU's winning streak to three and put them into a tie for second-place in the conference standings with Pepperdine.
"I felt like it was kind of a strange game for us," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "The first half I thought we played great half-court defense, I thought we were making great decisions on the offensive end."
Michelle Cozad led the Broncos (10-9, 4-2 WCC) once again on the offensive end, posting her conference-leading 10th double-double of the season as she scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Claire Goins added nine points and four rebounds while Tracey Walker, Chandice Cronk and Kasey Monteith all scored eight points in a well-balanced effort.
"Right now with our two injured post players, we're relying a lot on Claire and Kasey," said Bento-Jackson. "We're asking them to step up big and they are really making things happen down there."
The contest got off to a slow start as each team struggled from the floor, shooting a combined 30.8% in the first half. Santa Clara received strong post play from Kasey Monteith and Goins, who each scored a team-high six points in the first half.
Cozad also grabbed eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes, helping the Broncos out-rebound the Dons (6-13, 2-4 WCC) 25-24 and go into the break with a 30-23 lead. On the night Santa Clara bested San Francisco on the boards by a 46-39 margin. Anna Martin also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds for Santa Clara while Monteith turned in her second-consecutive nine-rebound effort.
The Bronco advantage stayed at seven through the first eight minutes of the second half until Ashley Graham converted the bonus following a fast-break lay-up to give Santa Clara its largest lead of the game to that point at 44-35.
The advantage got to as much as 11 at one point before USF began to slowly chip away, trimming the Bronco lead to three at 57-54 with three minutes to go. But SCU answered as a Cozad three followed by a pair of free throws the next time down brought the lead back to eight at 62-54.
From that point Santa Clara held off any Don rally and iced the game from the free throw line.
The Broncos will now fly south to San Diego for a rematch against the Toreros. The Saturday afternoon contest is set to tip-off at 2 p.m.