Nov. 26, 2008
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Despite a late rally fueled by Elizabeth Doran and Rhianna Faithfull, the Santa Clara women's basketball team lost its fifth straight game, 73-62, at Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday afternoon. With the loss, the Broncos dropped to 0-5 on the season, while the Eagles improved to 2-1 overall.
Doran led the Broncos with 16 points and a game-high three steals. Lena Gipson added 10 points and led the game with 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Santa Clara out-rebounded Florida Gulf Coast, 39-32. It's the fourth time this season the Broncos have topped their opponents on the boards. SCU also out-shot FGCU from the field, going 48.1 to 38.2 percent and 40.0 to 23.5 percent from beyond the arc.
The Broncos opened up strong taking a 7-1 lead on a layup by Gipson and five straight points from Alyssa Shoji. At 15:53, Doran knocked down a three-pointer way behind the men's arc to give SCU a 12-3 advantage. However, at 12:45, the Eagles made it a one-point game, 14-13, on a three-pointer by Shannon Murphy. FGCU then earned the edge at 11:48 on a fast break field goal from Emma Beddome, 15-14. The previous shot, a trey by Murphy, ignited a 19-0 run that allowed the Eagles to take a 17-point lead, 31-14.
Santa Clara was held scoreless for eight and a half minutes until a free show and a jumper from Kathy Willinsky broke the silence, 34-17. Santa Clara rallied in the final three minutes of the first half to cut the lead, 39-26. Sara Majors went 2-for-2 in the first half, scoring her first three-pointer of the season, while Gipson pulled down a half-high five rebounds. SCU also outshot FGCU 42.9 to 23.5 percent from behind the arc.
Gipson opened the second half for the Broncos, but at 16:10, the Eagles claimed a 20-point lead, 50-30. Despite the deficit, Santa Clara continued its fight with field goals from Doran, Goins and Willinsky. The Broncos cut the gap to nine-points, 63-54, on a jumper from Kelli Parker with 5:17 to play. Although FGCU continued the hold the lead, Santa Clara proved to be extremely aggressive and with eight straight points from Faithfull, the Broncos brought the gap back down to 10-points, 72-62. Adrienne McNally scored a free throw at 24.5 to make the final score, 73-62.
The Broncos remain on the road for the second half of their holiday road trip. Santa Clara will participate in the 2008 UM Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by the University of Miami. The Broncos will face the Cougars of Chicago State in the first round on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. PT. SCU will then play either Austin Peay or Miami on Nov. 29. Santa Clara concludes its road trip back on the West Coast against the Aggies of UC Davis. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Pavilion in Davis, Calif.