March 1, 2003
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team closed the regular and West Coast Conference seasons with a 79-69 victory over Portland tonight at the Chiles Center. The Broncos were led by Kim Butler's team-high 16 points. SCU is now 18-9, 9-5 in the league, while Portland moves to 11-16, 5-9.
Despite the victory, Gonzaga also won tonight, with an 86-72 decision over San Diego, which leaves the Broncos and the Zags tied for second place in league standings. Gonzaga wins the tie-breaker with a sweep over the Toreros this season and will have two byes in next week's WCC Championship. The Broncos will be the number three seed and will open the tournament on Friday.
Butler led five Santa Clara players in double figures. Junior Whitney Sutak, celebrating her 22nd birthday, added 14 first-half points, while sophomore guards Kayla Huss and Quinn Thomas added 13 and 12 respectively. Senior Tammy Annas added her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Huss added a career-high 10 assists, while senior Kendra Rhea posted a game-high 12 boards.
Portland was led by Ashley Giles and Hanna Seltzer, who each scored 17 points. Jamie Medley added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pilots.
Santa Clara started strong, scoring nine straight. A Huss three started the run, followed by two scores from Tammy Annas and an inside score from Butler. Portland responded with its own 11-4 run to make it a game. The Pilots pulled to within one before Butler and Thomas scored to push the Broncos' lead back to six, 22-16, with 10:21 left in the first period.
Sutak's second three pointer of the game gave the Broncos their first double-digit lead, 38-26, at the five-minute mark of the first half. Unfortunately it didn't last long, with the Pilots scoring seven straight to pull within five by the final media time out the half.
Sutak scored another three, then converted a three-point play to give Santa Clara a 12-point lead heading into the final minute of the first half. A fall-away jumper with one second on the clock by Pilot Amy Botto made it a 45-35 Bronco lead at intermission Sutak led all scorers at the half with 14 points.
Santa Clara opened with consecutive threes by Thomas and Huss and held a 57-41 lead with 14:37 remaining. Portland took advantage of some Bronco fouls and pulled to within seven, 63-56, with nine minutes remaining. It was an 11-2 run for the Pilots, who took advantage of their time at the free throw line and pulled within four after two charity stripes by Rose Sauer.
Sophomore Megan Nelson returned to the court for the Broncos, after missing the past five contests due to a sprained right foot.
Portland played without league-leading scorer Khalila O'Rielly-Williams, who suffered a concussion Thursday night against San Diego.
Tickets for the WCC Championships, hosted by the University of San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, can be purchased online by Clicking Here.