Feb. 3, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - San Diego sophomore Kerri Nakamoto made a free throw with two seconds left in regulation to give the Toreros a one-point victory over the league-leading Broncos tonight at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
With the loss, Santa Clara falls to 15-5 overall and now sits in a three-way tie for second play in the West Coast Conference standings at 6-2, as Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount recorded victories tonight to equal SCU's conference mark. The Toreros improve to 8-11 overall, 3-5 in league play. The all-time series favors Santa Clara 22-14.
The Broncos, 20-point winners over San Diego just four days ago, could not overcome a season-low 57.1 percent free throw shooting night and were outrebounded for only the fifth time this season 38-29.
"We got outrebounded, which was critical," SCU head coach Chris Denker said. "But the bottom line was we lost the game at the free throw line. They made 23 free throws to our eight. A 15-point differential, that's pretty hard to overcome. Especially on somebody's home court. Down the stretch, I thought the girls did a decent job, coming up with some big defensive plays. Again, USD scored at the free throw line, they didn't score on baskets. The one basket they did score, we answered with a big play by Kim (Sorenson). We had some kids play a lot of minutes... we might have just worn out toward the end."
Senior Kim Sorenson and junior Becki Ashbaugh recorded back-to-back threes early in the second half, while a Kendra Rhea score put the Broncos ahead by 10. The Toreros countered with two baskets by junior Amber Jansen, that also earned extra points as she was fouled on both makes, cutting the Bronco lead to two. With under seven minutes left and the game tied at 51, a technical called on Denker allowed San Diego to go ahead by two points.
Down by three, Bronco senior Annie Garrison passed the ball across the paint to senior Jennifer Glysson, who scored the basket and the extra point on a foul to tie the game at 60 points apiece. Nakamoto was charged a player-control foul at the opposite end of the court on a crucial possession for the Toreros, but Santa Clara was unable to take advantage until another San Diego turnover and foul gave Glysson two shots at the charity stripe. Glysson made her second attempt.
Two of Garrison's four blocks on the night came on the next defensive front as SCU held its one-point edge as time ran under one minute. A three pointer by USD junior Robyn Fortney countered by an in-the-paint score by Sorenson tied the game again with 18 seconds left in regulation. A foul was called on the Broncos with two seconds left on the clock. Although Nakamoto missed the first, her second scored the game-winning point as the Broncos were unable to get off a last-second shot.
Glysson led the Broncos with 16 points and earned her first double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Jansen led San Diego with 14 points and 14 rebounds as USD head coach Kathy Marpe earned her 100th WCC victory.
The second half of conference play began with SCU's frontcourt controlling first-half scoring, posting 26 of the team's 30 points. Garrison led all scorers with 12 as the Broncos took a four-point lead at intermission.
Tonight's loss also marked the first halftime lead the Broncos failed to protect.
The Broncos begin remain on the road, returning to Southern California for rematches at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine next weekend. Santa Clara will play the Lions on Friday, Feb. 9 in Los Angeles and against the Waves the following night, Saturday, Feb. 10, in Malibu. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. at their respective venues.