Feb. 15, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Junior guard Becki Ashbaugh scored 19 points despite spraining an ankle in the second half to lead the Broncos to a 66-52 win over San Francisco tonight at the Leavey Center in West Coast Conference action.
The Broncos remain in first place in the WCC with a 9-2 record and improve to 18-5 overall. Santa Clara will face Saint Mary's on Saturday, a team that is only one game behind the Broncos in league standings after topping San Diego tonight 71-54. San Francisco falls to 12-12 on the season, 5-6 in the WCC.
USF opened the game with consecutive baskets by Kim Whisler and Lisa Whiteside for a 4-0 lead. Back-to-back three-pointers from Kim Sorenson and Ashbaugh put the Broncos up 20-9, during a nine minute span that the Dons went without a field goal. Ashbaugh closed the half, driving coast-to-coast for a layup that gave Santa Clara a 32-19 lead at intermission.
The Dons pulled to within 10 on two free throws by Melanie Turner with 14 minutes left to play, but back-to-back baskets by Ashbaugh and junior Caroline Gruening put the Broncos back up by 15. Again, San Francisco was able to pull with seven points on an 8-0 Don run with baskets by Mary Jane Krueger and Whisler and two pairs of free throws by Whisler and Alicia Hernandez.
"They went 12-12 at the free throw line in the second half," Bronco head coach Chris Denker said. "There's 12 points. Granted, they have to step up and make them, but they're scoring when the clock's not running. So we're just standing there watching them score points. That's the kind of frustrating stuff we need to stop doing."
The Broncos' transition game was in full swing, as a Gruening behind-the-back pass to sophomore Kendra Rhea was good for two as Santa Clara pulled ahead 59-46 with three minutes left in the game.
Dons Whisler, Hernandez and Molly Shanley fouled out in the last minute of the game.
The Broncos will host its final home game of the regular season, against Saint Mary's on Saturday. The contest will begin at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center, but fans will want to arrive early as Santa Clara will honor its four seniors: Kristen Franklin, Annie Garrison, Jennifer Glysson and Sorenson.