Jan. 12, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team lost an intense and hard-fought conference opener, 74-71, to Saint Mary's Saturday night at the Leavey Center. Senior Jen Gottschalk led all players with 30 points and 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. With the loss, the Broncos are 11-4 on the season and 0-1 in West Coast action, while the Gaels improved to 9-8 overall and 1-0 in WCC play.
Guard Sara Majors posted her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Tracey Walker added 11 points and six rebounds, while Chandice Cronk chipped in with 10 points. Walker also dished out a game-high six assists.
The Gaels opened the game with a 6-2 lead on points from Louella Tomlinson and Serena Benavente. The Broncos the tied the score for the second time, 6-6, on free throws from Cronk. A three-point goal from Gottschalk gave Santa Clara their only lead of the half, 9-6. Saint Mary's rallied back to take create a seven-point advantage, 18-11, on a trey from Benavente. SCU cut the lead to two points, 31-29, on a layup from Walker with 4:22 left but SMC would continue to hold the lead going into halftime, 36-29.
Saint Mary's picked up right from where they left off in the start of the second half, jumping to an 11-point edge, 42-31, on a jumper from Lauren Shaughnessy. Yet, the Broncos were just getting warmed up and registered three straight baskets from Gottschalk and Majors to cut the gap to five points, 42-37. The Broncos came within two points on three occasions before tying the score, 60-60, on a nailed jumper from Gottschalk with 9:46 remaining. Santa Clara then took its second lead of the game, 62-60, on a successful play from Cronk and Majors. The game was held scoreless for two minutes until a three-pointer from Jontelle Smith gave the Gaels a one-point edge, 63-62, with 6:15 remaining.
Gottschalk's layup with 5:24 left gave the Broncos control of the scoreboard once again, 64-63 and a jumper from Walker but the Broncos up, 66-64, just under a minute later. However, Shaughnessy converted a traditional three-point play to give Saint Mary's final control of the scoreboard with 4:26 remaining. Although SMC held the lead, Elizabeth Doran knocked down a three-pointer with 49 seconds left to make the final score, 74-71.
For the Gaels, Tomlinson registered 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Smith added 18 points and Shaughnessy had 15 points.
The Broncos return to action on Thursday, Jan. 17 against the Lions of Loyola Marymount. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles.