Feb. 15, 2006
MORAGA, Calif. - Santa Clara's eighth-consecutive win was their toughest of the streak, but in the end the Broncos remained tied atop the West Coast Conference standings. Behind an all-around scoring effort by a quartet of Broncos, SCU defeated the Saint Mary's Gaels 64-62 Wednesday night at McKeon Pavilion.
Kayla Huss led the Broncos Wednesday night with 16 points while fellow senior Michelle Cozad was close behind with 14. Kasey Monteith turned in another solid effort with 10 points and eight rebounds while Chandice Cronk hit a trio of threes for nine points and grabbed four rebounds of her own.
The game got off to a frantic and turnover-filled start, with both teams hustling the ball up and down the court on each possession. After Saint Mary's took a 10-8 lead heading into the first media timeout with 15:49 remaining, the Broncos calmed down and behind the dead-eye accuracy of Huss fired out to an 18-10 lead within the next three minutes.
Huss had already scored 11 points in the first seven minutes of the contest on the strength of a trio of three-pointers and a baseline jumper.
The Broncos kept the Gaels at bay for much of the rest of the half and then widened the gulf to 12 points after consecutive threes by Cronk with about three minutes left until halftime.
A slow start to the second half allowed the Gaels to cut the Bronco lead to three at 39-36 at the first media timeout of the half four minutes in. Evynn Van Burger's jumper a minute later knotted things up at 39-39 before a Cronk three the next time down for SCU gave them a three-point advantage.
Behind a three-point play from Monteith and a Cozad jumper, the Broncos were able to rebuild their advantage to nine at 53-44 with just over nine minutes remaining.
The two teams battled back and forth from that point, with Saint Mary's able to chip away at the Santa Clara lead, getting things to 57-53 with 5:32 remaining.
After a Maija Lahde bucket got things to within two at 62-60 with 52.6 seconds remaining, each team had an opportunity on their end of the court but could not convert. Huss' rebound on the SMC end forced the Gaels to foul, and with nine seconds left one of the most clutch performers in Broncos history sank both shots, providing the winning points.
Santa Clara returns to action Friday night as Huss and Cozad play their final home games in the Santa Clara red and white. The Senior Night matchup against the San Francisco Dons will tip-off at 7 p.m. and tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660.