December 16, 2004

Thomas, Graham Net Career Highs

Dec. 16, 2004

Box Score |  Quotes

MADISON, Wis. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team fell to the University of Wisconsin 104-91 tonight at The Kohl Center in Madison. Senior guard Quinn Thomas fought off illness to score a career-best 25 points, and sophomore guard Ashley Graham followed with a personal best 27, but the Broncos fall to 3-5 on the season.

Wisconsin wins its third straight, remains undefeated at home, and improves to 5-4 overall. The 104 points ceded by Santa Clara marks an opponent high in the Bronco program's 40-plus seasons.

The Broncos made 14 three-point field goals tonight, setting a season and program high, as well as a Badger opponent best. The effort also marked the fourth time this season the Broncos have made more than 10 treys in a contest.

The Badgers are the third Big Ten opponent the Broncos have faced this season, as Santa Clara took on No. 13 Michigan State at the Hawaii tournament in November and No. 16 Minnesota at home last weekend.

Jolene Anderson netted 29 points to lead Wisconsin, and Janese Banks added 23. The Badgers out-rebounded SCU 51-28 and took 19 more free throw attempts.

The night started close, and the teams were tied 20-20 at the second media timeout. Wisconsin opened a double-digit lead shortly thereafter, as Anderson made a long three from the left wing. The Badgers' Stephanie Rich stole the ball on the Broncos' next possession and Ebba Gebisa converted a three-point play en route to a 33-22 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in the half.

The Broncos whittled away at the home team's advantage with the long ball. Graham and Chandice Cronk converted two of the team's six threes of the half to spark a run that allowed SCU to pull within 45-44 in the final two minutes. Wisconsin added a free throw to take a 46-44 lead into the lockerroom, as the Broncos missed a last-second attempt.

Santa Clara shot 50 percent in the first half, but was hurt by 10 Badger points scored off Bronco turnovers.

The Broncos started the second half on fire, making three treys to push a 57-55 advantage, and forcing UW head coach Lisa Stone to take an early time out. Wisconsin reclaimed the lead with a Rich three and although the Broncos stayed close, the Badgers never relinquished their lead.

A Thomas lay-up at 6:41 set her new personal mark in scoring, and pulled the Broncos within two, 82-80.

A Badger steal and fast-break lay-up by Anderson inside the five-minute mark opened an 89-83 lead. Santa Clara stayed strong and was within two when Kasey Monteith was fouled. Unable to convert at the charity stripe, Wisconsin brought the crowd of more than 5,000 to its feat in the final two minutes, as it opened a double-digit lead.

Tonight's contest marked the first visit for the Bronco program to the state of Wisconsin, where the temperature was 27 degrees at tip-off. The all-time series between the schools now stands tied at 1-1. The Broncos won the first meeting in 1993, a 10-point victory at home.

Santa Clara forced the three late in the game, but was unable to convert its last six attempts, and finished shooting 48 percent for the night.

"I have to give Santa Clara a lot of credit," Stone said after the contest. "They were the most offensive-minded team we've seen all year."

Santa Clara remains in" America's Dairyland" through the weekend, and will play at UW-Green Bay on Saturday at noon Pacific Time. That contest can be followed live online, as Bronco broadcaster Anthony Passarelli will call the action on SantaClaraBroncos.com.