Dec. 21, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The University of the Pacific's women's basketball team overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half as the Tigers earned a 59-54 victory over Santa Clara this afternoon at the Leavey Center.
The Tigers closed the game with 20-4 run, including a three-pointer by Mischa Clark that gave Pacific its first lead-at 57-54-since a 2-0 margin to start the game. The Tigers improve to 3-6 on the season, while the Broncos fall to 5-4.
Neither team could score to open the game, missing on the first four possessions. The Tigers took the early lead, but Santa Clara countered right away. A long-distance score from junior Whitney Sutak put the Broncos ahead 13-6 nine minutes into the contest, as Pacific shot 3-11 from the field. Santa Clara posted seven first-half steals while sophomore Kayla Huss hit back-to-back threes to give SCU a 19-9 advantage with eight minutes left in the period.
A Pacific run narrowed the lead to four, but the Broncos went on another run en route to a 30-22 lead at intermission.
Two first-half fouls limited senior Julie Butler's playing time in the first period, but she came back in the second half, taking a no look pass from Huss on the fast break for a lay-in and then converted a three-point play on the team's next possession to help the Broncos build a 41-26 lead. A basket by sophomore Kim Butler kept the 15- point lead with 10:18 remaining in the game, at 47-32.
Santa Clara went 7:47 on the clock without a field goal, as Pacific came roaring back. Three-pointers by reserves Sarah Feely and Jasmine Ewing reduced the Bronco lead to five. Gillian d'Hondt, who led all scorers with 20 points, hit two free throws just before Clark converted on a three-point play to tie the ball game at 50-50 with 2:43 remaining.
Senior Kendra Rhea hit two free throws and then Julie Butler hit a field goal with 1:08 remaining, ending the Broncos' drought and tying the game at 54 points apiece. Clark hit the three with 43 seconds remaining to give Pacific the lead for good. She added two more points from the charity stripe for the final score.
Julie Butler finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season, while Rhea also posted 10 boards. Huss was the only other Bronco in double-digit scoring, added 12 points and eight assists.
After not shooting a single free throw in the first period, the Broncos were in the bonus with 12 minutes remaining in the contest, but were only 10-17 from the charity stripe.
The Broncos will break for the holidays but return home to the Leavey Center on Saturday, Dec. 28, hosting Arkansas State at 2 p.m.