Nov. 23, 2001
SEATTLE, Wash. - Four players scored 10 points each while the Bronco defense limited Princeton to just 28 percent shooting from the floor as the Santa Clara University women's basketball team raced to an 80-52 win over the Tigers in the first round of the Seattle Times Husky Classic Friday at the University of Washington.
The Broncos improve to 2-1 on the season, while Princeton falls to 2-1. Santa Clara will face the winner of the evening's second game between Northeastern and host Washington.
"I thought this was a good win for us tonight," said Bronco head coach Chris Denker. "It was kind of a homecoming for us. We were playing on a neutral court but we turned it into our home court with eight Washington players and 10 from the Northwest. We had a good following of family and friends here tonight and that helped us.
Julie Butler, Kendra Rhea, Kayla Huss and Jennie Rondel each scored 10 points in the game to lead the Broncos. Tammy Annas had a game-high nine boards for the Broncos, who extended their streak to nine-straight victories in regular-season tournament first round games dating back to 1996. Princeton was led by senior forward Lauren Rigney, who was the only player to score in double-figures for the Tigers.
"We got off to a good start, especially defensively," said Denker. "Princeton had been shooting over 50 percent coming into the game and we held them to 28. There were a few rough spots at times. We had some different combinations on the court. At one point, we had five guards on the floor and players were having to play in a variety of different positions."
Santa Clara bolted out to a 21-7 first half lead before the lights went out... literally. With 10:31 left in the first half, the lights at Bank of America Arena suddenly went off and play was halted for nearly 22 minutes. When play resumed the Broncos continued to stretch their lead, eventually winning by as many as 22 points with 1:46 remaining in the half.
After shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half, the second half saw the basket shrink for the Broncos. Through the first 10 minutes of the second stanza, Santa Clara shot just 15 percent from the floor. However, the Tigers were unable to inch any closer than 14 points before Santa Clara went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 23 and close out the contest.
Santa Clara has eight players from the state of Washington, which helped the trip quickly evolve into a positive holiday memory from nearly every Bronco.
"This has been a great trip for us and I am glad it has worked out for us the way it has," said Denker. "With so many kids from up here, it was great that they could come home for the holiday and they could see their families. Everybody on the team, even the ones who aren't from this area, got to be with friends and family for the holiday instead of just eating at a restaurant or being alone at home.
"It's also been a good weekend for us coaches. Jenny (Leander) is from up here and my parents were able to come up from Oregon. Jeff (Dow) and Benita (Martin) were able to come with my wife and I and our in-laws so it's been really a great family atmosphere this weekend for our entire team."