Nov. 29, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team fell 95-82 in a hard-fought heartbreaker against UC Santa Barbara Thursday night at the Leavey Center. With the loss, the Broncos dropped to 4-3 on the season, while the Gauchos evened their overall record to 3-3.
"We lost the momentum in the first half as a result of foul trouble and giving up offensive rebounds," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "It stopped the good flow we had on both ends of the court. But I'm truly proud of how my team fought and competed tonight. They really stayed focused in the second half and played tough."
Senior Jen Gottschalk posted yet another game-leading performance with 24 points and eight rebounds. The Littleton, Colo., native registered a .750 three-point field goal percentage and a .778 free throw percentage. Senior Chandice Cronk netted 19 points for the Broncos, while junior Elizabeth Doran chipped in with 12. Freshman Nicole Gall added 11 points for the Broncos, while senior Tracey Walker posted 10 points and game-highs with eight assists and seven steals.
The Broncos came out of the gates fast and quickly jumped to a nine-point lead, 11-2, on points from Doran, Cronk and Gottschalk. Yet, back-to-back treys for the Gauchos brought UCSB within three, 11-3. Santa Clara continued to hold the lead as Doran put up a three-point goal coupled with a nailed jumper from Maggie Goldenberger, 17-12. However, UCSB rallied on points from Chisa Ononiwu and Lauren Pedersen to make the score, 19-17. A layup from Jessica Wilson knotted the score for the first time, 19-19, with 11:23 remaining.
The score was tied twice more, one by the Gauchos and the last time by the Broncos. Gottschalk netted a three-point goal to knot the score at 29-29 with 8:07 left in the first half. However, UCSB pulled down seven rebounds to regain control of the game and take a 14-point lead, 43-29. The Broncos tried to chip away at the gap bringing the score within eight points twice, but a made jumper from Sha'Rae Gibbons sent the game into halftime, 56-44.
Santa Clara began the second half with a new found energy and compiled a 17-1 run within the first five minutes to earn a four-point edge over Santa Barbara, 61-57. The two teams kept the game tight until there was two minutes remaining. The Broncos took a six point lead on a three-point goal from Gall and two free throws from Walker, 66-60. But, the Gauchos fought back to tie the score, 70-70, with 10:16 remaining. Santa Clara knotted the game a minute later on a layup from Sara Majors, but UCSB quickly tied the score again, 76-76, with 8:31 left in regulation.
The two teams were held scoreless for three minutes until a made jumper from Ononiwu put the Gauchos up by two, 78-76. Santa Clara answered back with a layup from Walker but a series of turnovers gave UCSB control for the last time. The Broncos fought hard to tie the game again, coming within two points, 82-80, on free throws from Gottschalk, but the Gauchos stormed ahead to win the game, 95-82.
For UCSB, Gibbons recorded a team-best 20 points, four steals and three assists, while Wilson chipped in with 18 points. Two other players netted 11 points - Jordan Franey and Meagan Williams - while two more added 10 points - Ononiwu and Ashlee Brown.
The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Dec. 1 against the Hornets of Sacramento State. Tip off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at the Hornets Nest in Sacramento, Calif.