November 22, 2004

Broncos Fall to Fresno State in Season Opener

Nov. 22, 2004

Box Score |  Photo Gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball program opened the 2004-05 season with a five-point loss to Fresno State tonight at the Leavey Center. Senior guard Quinn Thomas scored 20 points on five three-pointers, as the Broncos fell one trey short of tying a program record for a game performance. Santa Clara falls to 0-1 on the season with the 76-61 loss.

The Bulldogs improve to 2-0 behind Amy Parrish's career-high 24 points. She added eight rebounds to pace the visitors. Faith Probst came off the bench to add 15 points. The Bulldogs have now won four straight in the programs' series, behind 45 percent shooting and a 49-29 rebounding advantage.

Santa Clara shot 40 percent from far range, making 12 threes, one short of the record set last season against Pepperdine. Ashley Graham added four three-pointers and finished with 14 points, while Michelle Cozad came off the bench to contribute 13 points and eight rebounds.

Santa Clara led 13-12 with 11:51 left in the first half with a jumper from Cozad, but Fresno State went on a 13-2 run to push ahead 25-15 at the 7:11 mark. Santa Clara closed with in two, on to free throws from Cozad, but Parrish scored six of the Bulldog's final eight points of the half to give her team a 38-32 lead at the break.

The Bulldogs began the second half with a 10-3 scoring run, stretching their lead to 48-35 following a lay-up from Mirenda Swearengin.

Santa Clara remained tough, and responded with three triples during a 14-2 burst that cut the Bulldog advantage to 50-49 with 8:56 left to play.

Both teams traded baskets over the final eight minutes of the game, with Santa Clara only down by four with 1:33 remaining on the clock. Unable to score, the Broncos were forced to foul and the Bulldogs responded at the charity stripe, going 7-8 in the final 66 seconds.

Santa Clara will return to action this weekend, participating in a competitive eight-team tournament in Hawaii. The Broncos are matched up against the host Hawaii in Friday's opening game of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. Santa Clara will then face Michigan State or Utah on Saturday. The other half of the bracket includes Idaho, Georgia, California and TCU.

"These games provide a great opportunity for us early in the season to start our year on a positive note and give the players confidence," head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said. "It's going to be key for us to have some success in that tournament."