Jan. 29, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Junior Michelle Cozad netted 20 second-half points, and finished with 27, but it wasn't enough as the Santa Clara University women's basketball team fell to San Francisco 76-64 tonight at War Memorial Gym. The contest closed out the first half of West Coast Conference play, and the Broncos are now 10-10 overall, 4-3 in league action. Combined with Pepperdine's win over Loyola Marymount earlier this evening, SCU is now tied with those two schools for second place in the WCC's standings.
USF was led by Mary Jane Krueger, who netted a 21-point, nine-rebound effort to improve the Dons' to 9-11, 3-4. Dominique Carter posted nine points in the game's final three minutes and finished with 20. Toni Russell added 14 points, five steals and four assists.
Trailing by as many as 13, Santa Clara took a 56-55 lead with less than seven minutes remaining and kept the contest close, as the teams shared a 62-62 tie at the three-minute mark. The Broncos were held to just two points for the remainder of the contest and was forced to foul. USF pulled ahead by making eight of 10 free throws during that span and finishing the game with a 14-2 run.
San Francisco opened the night with an 8-0 run to take the early lead, and pushed that advantage to 10, 25-15, at the eight-minute media time out on a basket by Jessy Preston. The Dons' largest lead of the half was 13, 30-17, heading into the final five minutes of the period. The Broncos pulled within five heading into the half's final minute, after Cozad hit a lay-up and a three to make the score 32-27. However, Krueger scored on a putback and USF pushed its advantage to six heading into the lockerroom.
During the first 20 minutes, San Francisco out-shot the Broncos .448 to .375, as Santa Clara shot 12-32 from the field. The Dons also converted 7-8 free throws and posted a 24-13 rebounding edge.
USF returned the lead to double digits early in the second half; however, the Broncos responded once again, pulling within four on four separate occasions. Their momentum was stopped with Jennifer Katsuyama's conversion of a three-point play midway through the period.
Cozad hit another three, and then followed with a drive to pull the Broncos within four once again, 53-49 just under nine minutes left in regulation. Santa Clara's determination continued and the visitors took their first lead of the game at 6:44, after Ashley Gonnerman connected for a 56-55 Bronco lead. Cozad kept the SCU advantage, taking a charge on the USF's next possession and hitting a three from the left wing to extend the lead to two, 59-57.
The game saw six lead changes and four ties, last at 62 with three minutes remaining.
Back-to-back baskets by Carter pushed USF ahead 64-62. She stayed hot and converted a three-point play at 1:58 for a 67-62 lead. The Dons forced a Bronco turnover and put the game out of reach when Jenni Jones lobbed the ball to Krueger, who's hook shot went in and drew the foul. SCU called a time out, and it was enough to ice Krueger, who missed the extra shot. However, Carter nabbed the rebound and drew the foul. She connected on both attempts and pushed USF's lead to 10. Krueger hit three more foul shots in the game's final minute to secure the win.
Kayla Huss added 13 points and five assists for Santa Clara.
USF finished shooting .509 (27-53) and held a 41-26 rebound edge. The Broncos connected on .407 (24-59), including 9-of-26 from three-point land, good for .346. The Dons got to the line early and often, converting on .714 (20-28) from the charity stripe.
The Broncos return home to the Leavey Center and will host Portland and Gonzaga next weekend to start the second half of league play. SCU will host the Pilots on Thursday and the Bulldogs on Saturday. Tip-off for both contests is slated for 7 p.m.