Jan. 29, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team dropped a 77-69 decision Gonzaga tonight in West Coast Conference action at the Martin Centre in Spokane. Senior forward Jennie Rondel and junior guard Quinn Thomas scored 18 points each, but Santa Clara falls to 6-13, 2-4. Shannon Mathews scored 27 points to lead the Bulldogs to victory and improve their record to 12-7, 5-1.
Both teams opened well but it was the home squad that nabbed the early lead, at 10-7. However, Gonzaga would go the next five minutes on the clock without a score, and the Broncos grabbed the lead with a 14-0 run, capped by Thomas' three-pointer to push the lead to 21-10. The Broncos led by as much as 12, and maintained a double-digit lead with four minutes remaining until half. However, Gonzaga closed the period strong with a 10-2 run, and pulled within four, 38-34 at intermission.
Rondel was a perfect 5-5 from the field in the first half to lead Santa Clara to a .577 clip in the first half. Additionally, the Broncos recorded 14 assists on 15 field goals in the period. Rondel and Mathews both had 14 points at intermission.
The Broncos' played without Rondel's perfection for most of the second half, when she fouled out of the game with 15 minutes remaining. Rondel finished 7-7 from the field for 18 points. Her performance marked only the sixth time since 1992 that a Bronco didn't miss, and was last done by Thomas (7-7) two seasons ago, also against the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga tied the game at 47-47 and took a 49-48 lead with free throws from Raeanna Jewell. A Tori Markey jumper and another Thomas three returned SCU's lead to 53-49. The Bulldogs regained the lead for good with a 12-1 run, capped by Katy Ridenour's steal and lay-in to make the score 61-54 under the five-minute mark.
Santa Clara scored nine points in the final minute of the game to keep the contest exciting, but was forced to foul. Mathews went 8-8 from the free throw in the final minute to secure the victory.
Markey finished with 12 points, while Gonzaga also saw 20 points from Ashley Anderson and 19 from Ashley Burke.
Santa Clara remains in the Northwest and will take on Portland at the Chills Centre on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.