Women's Basketball

Santa Clara Drops Road Contest to No. 22 BYU, 77-63

Santa Clara Drops Road Contest to No. 22 BYU, 77-63

Nov. 22, 2006

Final Stats

PROVO, Utah (AP) -Shawnee Slade scored a career-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help No. 22 Brigham Young beat Santa Clara 77-63 Wednesday.

Slade, who had never scored more than 10 in a game, finished 11-for-12 from the free-throw line. She scored 13 in the second half for the Cougars (3-2).

Slade got her second career double-double and tied her best mark for rebounds.

Mallary Gillespie scored 14 and Melinda Johnsen had 10 points, including a four-point play that put BYU in front 59-55.

Ashley Graham led Santa Clara (3-2) with 16 points. Tracey Walker and Jen Gottschalk added 10 points apiece for the Broncos, who shot 33 percent from the field.

"We had a lot of defensive breakdowns tonight, and as a result, the BYU offense was scoring or we were putting them on the free-throw line," said SCU head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson.

The teams got off to a fast start in what turned out to be a streaky first half on both sides. After Chandice Cronk drained a three on the game's opening possession, BYU reeled off a 9-0 run behind seven points from Jennie Keele. The lead got to 13-6 on a Johnsen lay-up minutes later, but Walker's immediate fast-break lay-up on the other end started a 57-second span which saw the Broncos score the next eight points of the game and take a 14-13 lead.

Some back-and-forth action for the next few minutes resulted in a slim 22-21 lead for SCU, but BYU's Mallary Gillespie hit a three to start a 10-0 run for the Cougars and give them an eight-point lead at 29-21. The Broncos responded with a run of their own, getting the next eight points and holding BYU scoreless for nearly seven minutes to equalize at 29-apiece.

The teams combined for only nine more points in the final 3:16 of the half as Graham and Gillespie traded threes to close out the scoring in the opening 20 minutes as BYU held a 35-32 lead at the break.

Much of the scoring in the second half came from the free-throw line, as the first field goal by either team was finally converted with 14:59 to play when Ashley Gonnerman's turnaround in the lane brought SCU to within here at 40-37. In the final 20 minutes, the referees whistled a combined 32 fouls, while the teams took a combined 45 free throws.

Both teams reached the bonus by the 13:30 mark, and 13 of the next 15 points between the two squads came from the charity stripe until a Graham three from the left wing gave SCU a 50-49 lead, their first since it was 21-19 just before the halfway mark of the first half.

"We're very fortunate to have such great three-point shooters, now we just need to work on getting more of a balance from both our penetration and inside play," Bento-Jackson said of the team's outside shooting efforts.

As the teams battled to the 55-55 mark with 6:38 to play, BYU broke free with a four-point play by Johnsen, who then followed up an SCU miss with a fast-break lay-up to put the Cougars up by six.

Santa Clara got to within two at 61-59 after a Graham three, but that would be the closest they came, as six points from Slade helped open the gap on the way to the win.