Feb. 15, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Despite a career night from senior point guard Becki Ashbaugh, the Santa Clara University women's basketball team was unable to overcome 11 three-point field goals and a 22-for-26 free throw shooting night by the Lady Dons in an 87-79 loss to San Francisco Friday at War Memorial Gymnasium.
The Broncos fall to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the West Coast Conference heading into a televised Saturday showdown at Saint Mary's College. Santa Clara plays a 3 p.m. road contest against the Gaels on Fox Sports Net. San Francisco improves to 14-10 overall and 6-5 in the WCC.
Ashbaugh scored a career-high 24 points and tied her career-high with 13 assists in the game. Caroline Gruening finished the evening with 17 points and made four-of-five three-point attempts. USF was led by Lindsey Huff's career-high 27 points, which included an 11-for-12 effort from the free throw line.
The loss snapped Santa Clara's 11-game win streak over the Lady Dons dating back to the 1996-97 season. It took a record-setting effort from beyond the three-point arc to overcome the Broncos, however. San Francisco's 11 three-pointers in the game was the most ever against a Santa Clara women's basketball team in a regulation game adn the 23 attempts was the fourth-most for an opponent in Bronco history.
The two teams played evenly throughout the first half with Santa Clara holding the biggest lead of the half, a six-point, 21-15 edge on a three-pointer by Caroline Gruening at the 11:16 mark. The Lady Dons, however, went on a 9-2 run over the next four minutes to take a two-point lead before the Broncos came back to head into the locker room with a 40-38 advantage.
In the second half, San Franciso's Carey Sauer made a quick layup just :11 seconds into the half to tie the score and the Lady Dons would never trail again in the game. San Francisco extended its lead to as many as 12 points on two occasions and held the Broncos at bay the rest of the way.
Santa Clara's most serious threat came on an 11-3 run that brought the Broncos to within tfour-points at 80-76 with just 1:17 remaining. However, USF's Alicia Hernandez and Huff combined for the team's final seven points, with five coming at the free throw line, to close out the game.