Feb. 9, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - Senior guard Becki Ashbaugh became the 13th Bronco to notch 1,000 points in a career as she led Santa Clara to a 81-75 victory over Gonzaga in West Coast Conference women's basketball action tonight at the Martin Centre. Her free throw with six seconds remaining improved the Broncos' record to 17-6 overall, 7-3 in league play. The Bulldogs fall to 11-13, 2-8.
Down by four with 91 seconds remaining, junior forward Tammy Annas hit her first free throw attempt to pull the Broncos within three. She missed her second shot from the charity stripe, but SCU grabbed the rebound and senior guard Caroline Gruening hit a three from the right wing to tie the game at 75 with 1:20 left in regulation. The Broncos then held the Bulldogs off while making their final six free throws.
Ashbaugh finished with 16 points, and now stands with 1,001 career points. She becomes the first Bronco ever to notch 1,000 point and 500 assists in a career. She hit the later milestone to open conference play, and currently has 569. She has 22 to go before tying current career leader Jennifer Lucas' (1986-89) 591 mark. In the WCC, she becomes only the second to reach both marks, joining Anja Bordt of Saint Mary's, who registered 1,710 points and 654 assists from 1988 to '91.
The game seemed to be in Gonzaga's hands when Jessica Malone hit a three-pointer, but the basket was waived as the Bulldogs were called for a moving screen underneath the hoop, fouling out GU's Ashley Burke and putting Gruening on the line for the go-ahead points from the charity stripe.
The Broncos started with five players all from the state of Washington, including Junior Courtney Cushing, who earned her first collegiate start and finished with four points and three rebounds.
The Zags started strong and built a 14-7 lead. Gruening's baseline three tied the game at 19. She then created a steal and was fouled on the drive. She made both free throws to give SCU its first lead of the night. Baskets by freshman Megan Nelson and Rhea, along with two free throws from Ashbaugh, gave the Broncos a 30-25 advantage that was reduced only by one at halftime, 35-31.
Santa Clara opened the second half hot, with five quick points from Ashbaugh en route to a 48-35 lead just three minutes into the period, forcing Gonzaga head coach Kelly Graves to take two time outs. But the Bulldogs crept back, holding SCU without a field goal for three minutes as they pulled to within one, at 50-51. Gonzaga reclaimed the lead at 54-53 with just over eight minutes remaining. The teams then traded leads, but a three-point play by Raeanna Jewel seemed to shift momentum to Gonzaga before Gruening's three quieted the crowd. The team's then traded plays with Shannon Mathews hitting a three from the top of the key before Rhea's three-point play pulled the Broncos within three with under four minutes remaining.
Malone finished with 18 points to lead the Bulldogs, while Burke and Jewell finished with 13 points each. Burke led the night with eight rebounds.
The Broncos return to the Bay Area, but play on the road in continuing league action. On Friday, Feb. 15, the Broncos will visit San Francisco for a 7 p.m. contest at War Memorial Gym. Less than 24 hours later, SCU will tip off at Saint Mary's for a 3 p.m. contest in Moraga. That game will also air live on Fox Sports Bay Area.