Jan. 12, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Freshman guard Quinn Thomas led the Santa Clara University women's basketball team to a 73-68 victory over Portland in West Coast Conference action tonight at the Leavey Center. She scored 22 points in her first collegiate start, including five baskets from three-point range, as the Broncos improve to 12-3 on the season, 2-0 in league play, and remain undefeated at home at 7-0. The Pilots fall to 8-7, 0-2.
Thomas, who made all five of her three-point attempts on Thursday night against Gonzaga, opened tonight's game with three straight treys and finished 5-10 from long distance. She replaced senior guard Caroline Gruening in the starting lineup. Gruening has been battling illness the past couple of days, was a game-time decision to play. She finished with two points in 17 minutes.
"Quinn was forced into the starting role with Caroline's illness, and she just stepped up huge," head coach Chris Denker said. "We knew she could shoot, but tonight she was in her rhythm, and when she's in that, watch out."
Da'Love Woods, who scored 31 points the last time these two teams met at the league tournament, notched 18 points to lead the Pilots. Her three-pointer cut a 13-point halftime deficit to three just five minutes into the second period at 48-45. Three minutes later, teammate Jamie Medley's lay-in cut the lead to one, followed by Khalila O'Rielly-Williams post move for the Pilots' only lead of the second half, 53-52.
Santa Clara reclaimed the lead right away, as junior forward Tammy Annas converted a three-point play and fellow junior post Courtney Cushing added a lay up. Both baskets were assisted by senior guard Becki Ashbaugh, who finished with eight on the night.
Portland tied the game at 61 with a three-pointer from Hanna Seltzer, but again, SCU responded, this time, it was junior forward Kendra Rhea with a hook shot.
Down by three in the final minute, Portland missed two three-point attempts while Ashbaugh netted four free throws to seal the victory.
Pilot Ashlee Giles went down with a right knee injury just four minutes into the first half. The starting guard, who was averaging 13.9 points per contest, did not return.
Santa Clara continues WCC play next week with a home-and-home series with San Diego. The action starts Wednesday at the Toreros' Jenny Craig Pavilion, the site of the 2002 WCC Championships. The rematch will take place three days later at Santa Clara. USD is 10-4 overall, 8-1 at home, it's only loss at the JCP was an overtime game against No. 4 Iowa State.