March 5, 2005

Broncos Advance to WCC Championship Game

March 5, 2005

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara (16-13) advanced into the championship game of the WCC Tournament and a match-up with No. 23 Gonzaga after a 73-64 victory over Loyola Marymount (16-13). The Broncos fell behind by three at the half, but gained a 40-39 lead with 14:40 left and never trailed throughout the rest of the contest.

Michelle Cozad scored a game-high 23 points, while Kayla Huss had 16. Jacquelyn Woods and Mary Turner each scored 11 points.

Santa Clara will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Broncos have won two previous tournament championships, while the Bulldogs will be looking for their first.

Woods attempted to keep LMU in the contest with eight points during a three-minute span before fouling out with 1:17 remaining. Cozad scored a missed free throw by Tori Markey to give Santa Clara a double-digit at 55-44 with 5:34 left in the game. A five-point spurt by Woods brought LMU to within 57-48 of SCU with 3:50 left.

A basket by Cozad gave SCU a 51-42 lead with 7:54 remaining. Santa Clara gained its first lead of the second half at 40-39 on a jumper by Cozad. A Thomas three-point play gave SCU a 43-39 edge with 13:24 left. The Broncos extended their lead to six on a driving layup by Huss.

A close first half saw Loyola Marymount hold a 33-30 edge over Santa Clara. SCU fell behind by eight at 19-11, but moved within two of the Lions at 30-28 with 2:39 left in the half. LMU would increase its margin to 33-28 on a Turner bucket. Cozad free throws brought SCU to within three at the end of the half.

Woods paced LMU in scoring at the half with 11 points, while Cozad had seven for the Broncos. SCU guard Quinn Thomas only played seven minutes in the first half and scored three points. LMU's Woods and Ziemann each scored seven points in the first 20 minutes of action.