Feb. 2, 2008
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team faced a hard-fought 88-52 loss to Gonzaga Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Center. With the loss, the Broncos are now 16-5 on the season and 5-2 in league play, while the Bulldogs remain undefeated in West Coast Conference action with a 7-0 record and improved to 16-6 overall.
Seniors Jen Gottschalk and Tracey Walker led the Broncos with 14 points each, while Gottschalk tied the game-high nine rebounds. Chandice Cronk added eight points, with six of those points coming from the charity stripe.
The Broncos opened the first half with back-to-back baskets from Gottschalk and Sara Majors to give SCU a 4-0 lead. However, Gonzaga responded with a 10-point rally to take control of the scoreboard 10-4. A jumper from Walker halted the Bulldogs run, 13-9, with 15:32 to play. Yet, Gonzaga created a 12-0 run on the majority of points from Courtney Vandersloot and Heather Bowman to make the score 27-9. SCU entered double-figures on free throws from Cronk, 27-11.
A three-pointer from Gottschalk cut the Bulldogs lead to 15-points, 29-14, with 9:25 remaining. A layup from Claire Goins interrupted Gonzaga's run, 34-16, with 7:14 left. Despite the Bulldogs creating a 25-point lead with 3:40 to play, back-to-back baskets from Gottschalk and a layup from Cronk brought Santa Clara within 19-points. A final rally beginning with a trey from Elizabeth Doran and ending with two made free throws from Cronk ended the first half, 51-34.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with four straight points, 56-34, but Walker converted a traditional three-point play to get the Broncos going, 56-37. A layup from Gottschalk and free throws from Cronk with 16:34 to play brought SCU within 16 points, 57-41, but just over a minute later the Broncos momentum took a bit of a blow when Cronk was injured in the paint following a fast break layup from Vivian Frieson put the Bulldogs back up by 20 points, 61-41.
A three point goal from Nicole Gall ended Gonzaga's 18-0 run with just under 10 minutes left to play. The Bulldogs gained a 40-point edge, 88-48, on free throws from Michelle Elliott. A layup from Doran brought SCU to 50 points, 88-50, with 4:05 remaining. With 1:46 left, Walker was sent to the foul line and narrowed the final score to 88-52.
For Gonzaga, Bowman had 16 points and eight rebounds, while the Les Schwab Tires Player of the Game, Frieson had 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Broncos return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 5 against Bay Area rival the No. 7/7 Cardinal of Stanford. Tip off is schedule for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center.