Feb. 22, 2001
SPOKANE, Wash. - Santa Clara held on to a share of first place with a 70-54 defeat of Gonzaga tonight at the Martin Centre in West Coast Conference action.
Santa Clara improves to 19-6 overall, and takes a temporary lead in the conference race with a 10-3 mark. Saint Mary's, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, also tied with the Broncos, play tomorrow night. Gonzaga falls to 5-21 and remains winless in the conference at 0-13.
The Bronco bench outscored its starters 37-33 as sophomore forwards Kendra Rhea (11 points), Julie Butler (10) and Courtney Cushing (9) led Santa Clara in scoring. Junior guards Becki Ashbaugh and Caroline Gruening added nine points each for the visitors.
Jessica Malone led all scorers with 26 points for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga took an early 8-2 lead with back-to-back three-pointers from Triana Allen and Malone. Santa Clara's Jennifer Glysson recorded her first three-pointer in league play to tie the score at 13 nine minutes into the contest. Eight more lead changes during the half kept the game close until the last minute of the period. Senior forward Annie Garrison registered a hook shot off an Ashbaugh pass, followed by an Ashbaugh three from the top of the key and two Ashbaugh free throws to give the Broncos a 33-27 lead at intermission.
Ashbaugh opened the second half with her seventh straight points on a baseline jumper. Four minutes later, sophomore guard Jennifer Bradley entered the game and immediately stole the ball and converted the Zag turnover--one of 24 on the night--into a layup to extend Santa Clara's lead to 15, 44-29 and allow the starters to rest on the bench the last seven minutes of the game.
The Broncos close out the regular season at Portland on Saturday, Feb. 24. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.