Jan. 25, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team defeated San Francisco 57-41 this evening in West Coast Conference action at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. The Broncos' Kendra Rhea led all scorers with 13 points, as the Broncos improve to 13-5 overall, 4-1 in league play. The Dons fall to 6-13, 1-4.
Rhea led the Broncos defensively as well, holding USF's leading scorer, Carey Sauer, to 2-15 shooting on the night. Although Sauer led the Dons with 10 points and 11 rebounds, she only hit two field goals on the night.
"Kendra's been a stud all year on the defensive end," SCU head coach Michelle Bento said. "She did a phenomenal job on Sauer tonight, limiting her and staying in her face the entire game."
As a team, Santa Clara held USF to 16 percent shooting in the second period, and did not allow a field goal in the final 5:46 of the contest.
Down 12-8 early in the first half, the Broncos went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 12 with 9:29 remaining until halftime, and then earn a five-point lead. Huss started the run with a score, followed by a turn-around baseline jumper by Annas to tie the contest. A free throw from Rhea and a steal for a fastbreak score by sophomore Quinn Thomas gave SCU a modest lead.
San Francisco stayed close, and although it only made nine field goals in the first period, five of those were three-pointers that helped the Dons stay in the game. Santa Clara's defense was strong, forcing 16 turnovers and taking three charges during the half, and stopped a last second chance by USF in the closing minutes that would have given the Dons the lead. As it stood, Santa Clara took a 24-23 lead into intermission.
Santa Clara kept the lead during second-half play, but couldn't extend the advantage far, until two consecutive post moves by Butler put the Broncos ahead 38-31 with 11 minutes left on the clock.
After not shooting any free throws in the first half, the charity stripe kept the Dons within striking distance, as Santa Clara fouls slowed the game down. Eight second-half points by Rhea kept the Broncos alive, and a three-pointer by Huss made the score 50-38 with three minutes left.
The Broncos return home to close out the first half of league play. Santa Clara will host Portland on Thursday, Jan. 30 and Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 1. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m. tip-offs.