Jan. 17, 2004
LOS ANGELES - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team dropped a 69-59 decision to Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference action this afternoon at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. Freshman guard Ashley Graham scored a career-high 21 points, but Santa Clara falls to 5-11, 1-2. Kate Murray scored 18 of her 20 points in the second half to lead the Lions to victory and improve their record to 12-5, 3-1.
Prior to today's contest, Santa Clara had won 17 of the last 18 in the all-time series between the schools, with the Lions picking up their first win against SCU in four seasons, dating to a Jan. 22, 2000, contest which also happened to be a 10-point victory in Los Angeles.
Santa Clara committed a season-high 34 fouls, sending LMU to line 28 times in the second half alone. The Lions held a 53-52 lead with three minutes remaining in the game, but two quick baskets by Murray and a three-point play by Raelen Self sparked the home squad to victory. LMU then made 9-10 from the charity strip in the final minute to secure the victory.
Santa Clara came out aggressive, but five Bronco fouls in the first three-and-one-half minutes put two starters on the bench early and LMU in the bonus for 13 minutes of the first half. Santa Clara only scored eight field goals in the period, but four of the first five were threes, keeping the visitors within striking distance. LMU forward Jevay Grooms came off the bench to spark the Lions with seven straight points in the paint, and had nine by half, as Loyola Marymount held a 29-27 lead at the break.
Adrianne Slaughter scored four points for LMU in the first minute of the second half, but baskets by senior forward Jennie Rondel, freshman guard Anna Martin and Graham put Santa Clara ahead 35-33 with 15 minutes remaining.
Slaughter added another basket, and then LMU went without a field goal for seven minutes. Santa Clara opened a five-point lead, but solid free throw shooting by the Lions, including six straight by Murray, kept LMU close. Murray scored inside with seven minute remaining to restore the LMU lead, 45-43. Two minutes later, she converted a three-point play to push LMU ahead 50-48.
Murray netted a double-double with 11 rebounds, while Grooms and Self finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Santa Clara also saw double-figure scoring from senior forward Rondel and Martin, who each netted 12. Redshirt freshman Tori Markey pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Broncos defensively.
Santa Clara returns home to open the league season at the Leavey Center. The Broncos will host San Francisco on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saint Mary's on Sunday at 1 p.m., in a contest to be televised live by Fox Sports Bay Area.