Jan. 6, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University sophomore Quinn Thomas scored a game-high 23 points to lead the women's basketball team to a 72-63 victory over TCU this evening at the Leavey Center. She added five rebounds to improve the Broncos' record to 9-4, while closing out non-conference play with a four-game win streak. The Horned Frogs see their four-game win streak end as they fall to 7-6 on the season.
Despite being out-rebounded 54-35, Santa Clara out-shot TCU 44 percent to 32 percent. Sandora Irvin led TCU with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while teammate Tiffany Evans pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds and added 13 points. Santa Clara played with four sophomores most of the second half, with Kayla Huss and Kim Butler adding 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The teams traded lay-ups in the opening minutes of the contest, but TCU took the early lead. Evans banked a three-point shot from the right side to give the Lady Frogs a 16-8 lead eight minutes into the action. A score by Thomas reduced the deficit to 18-15, and four minutes later, a baseline jumper from senior Tammy Annas gave Santa Clara its first lead of the game, 21-20 with 8:23 left until halftime.
The Broncos forced TCU into 13 first-half turnovers, while Thomas scored nine points to lead Santa Clara to 50 percent shooting from the field and a 33-28 lead at intermission.
Santa Clara kept the offense hot when the second period started, doubling their lead to 10 in the opening minute. A no-look pass from senior Kendra Rhea allowed Thomas to score a three. She stole the ball on TCU's next possession and fed it to Huss for a lay-in. Santa Clara kept that lead for most of the next 10 minutes, but the Horned Frogs pulled to within seven, at 48-41. The Broncos turned up the defensive volume with three consecutive steals and ignited the transition game, converting on all three possessions.
An Evans three-pointer from the far baseline capped a 10-1 TCU run and made it a four-point ball game, with SCU ahead 54-51. The game stayed close the rest of the way, with the Broncos taking a 65-61 advantage into the final two minutes of play. The Broncos converted seven of eight free throws in the final minute to ensure the victory.
The Broncos continue a four-game homestand at the Leavey Center with their West Coast Conference opener, against San Diego, on Saturday at 7 p.m.