Dec. 30, 2002
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team recorded its 12th straight victory over San Jose State this evening at the Event Center. Sophomores Kayla Huss and Kim Butler led the Broncos with 11 points each as SCU posted a 61-54 victory to improve to 7-4 on the season. The Spartans drop their first home contest of the season and fall to 4-5.
Tonight's contest also marked the 40th time the two schools have met for a women's basketball contest, with the Broncos evening the record at 20 wins apiece. This year's competition added incentive for victory with the creation of a rivalry series between the two schools. Santa Clara earned three points as tonight's winner, giving the Broncos 16 points and nearly clinching the series title.
A competition that awards points for each victory between the two schools in 13 sports, the rivalry series has been dominated thus far in the season by Santa Clara with the Broncos owning a 16-3 lead. SCU won head-to-head match-ups in volleyball, men and women's soccer and men and women's cross country to jump out to an early lead in the inaugural contest. The Spartans earned their first points of the season with a two-point victory in men's basketball in late November.
San Jose State jumped out to a 4-0 lead before two Bronco seniors combined for a score, as Kendra Rhea asssisted on Tammy Annas' three-pointer to put SCU on the board.
Early foul trouble forced SCU head coach Michelle Bento to use nine players, and the Spartans took 18 shots from the free throw line. At the same time, SJSU's leading scorer Cricket Williams missed her first start tonight, and was held scoreless in six minutes of action in the first half, while collecting three quick fouls.
A steal by junior Whitney Sutak was fed to fellow junior Jennie Rondel for a lay up that tied the game at 11, but San Jose State went on a run, as Lamisha Augustine hit a baseline jumper to give the home team a 22-13 advantage. Huss responded with a jumper of her own to end State's 8-0 run.
Despite 11 turnovers in the first half, the Broncos pulled to within one at halftime, as reserve guard Megan Nelson hit three baskets in a row, followed by another Huss jumper to reduce the deficit to one, 25-24, at intermission.
Huss remained hot after the break, hitting a three to give the Broncos their first lead of the contest. Six straight points by Butler, followed by a long-distance score from sophomore Quinn Thomas, and Santa Clara opened a 36-31 lead. Another Thomas three just two minutes later forced SJSU head coach Janice Richard to call a time out as the Broncos had worked a nine-point edge.
Santa Clara expanded that lead to 12, with a 9-0 run midway through the second period and led 45-33 with 10 minutes remaining. Williams kept SJSU in the game, with seven straight points, but a Thomas three ended a four-minute scoring drought for the Broncos to make the lead seven, 51-44 with 3:36 remaining.
Two lay ups by the Spartans' Jessica Kellogg pulled San Jose State within four with 48.6 seconds on the clock. Butler hit the front end of a one-and-one to push the lead to five, a Spartan turnover forced State to foul Sutak, who hit both shots from the charity stripe. A missed SJSU shot put Rhea on the line, who hit her first shot to make it a 59-51 lead.
Williams kept the game interesting, banking in a three-pointer to reduce the lead to five with five seconds left in the contest. She finished with 19 points, all scored in the second half.
For the game, San Jose State out-rebounded the Broncos by a 42-28 margin.
Santa Clara will travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., for its next outing, taking on Eastern Michigan University on Thursday, Jan. 2. The game is slated for a 4 p.m. Pacific start, with live audio available on SantaClaraBroncos.com.