Feb. 5, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team defeated San Diego 60-52 tonight to earn its first win on the Toreros' home court in the last six seasons. Guard Quinn Thomas netted 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Broncos, as Santa Clara improves to 7-14, 3-5 in West Coast Conference action. Lindsay Helvey made four threes and finished with 12 points to lead the Toreros, who see their record fall to 6-15, 1-7.
Jennie Rondel added a 12-point, seven-rebound performance for the Broncos, and Ashley Graham recorded 11 points and five assists. Santa Clara held Torero leading scorer Marta Menuez to 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Toreros showed a full court press early, but the Broncos broke it easily, resulting in a lay-up by Ashley Gonnerman and an 11-2 SCU lead. Santa Clara held an 18-14 lead, but then went without a point for 7:40 on the clock, allowing San Diego to get back in the game and take a 24-18 lead before the Broncos could stop the drought in the final minute of the half, with a post move by Jenni Gottschalk. Torero Melissa Padgett tied the game at 18-18 with a basket down low and on the team's next possession, Polly Dong scored on the fast break for USD's first lead of the game. The home squad kept that advantage through the period, and was ahead 25-20 at the break.
The Broncos came out strong in the second half, converting on offense and making defensive stops. Tori Markey scored back-to-back baskets to pull Santa Clara within two. A Bronco steal at the other end of the court resulted in a transition basket for SCU, a three-pointer from the far corner by Thomas to return the lead to the visitors 31-30 four minutes into the second half.
Santa Clara nabbed four steals in five possessions, allowing the Bronco defense to create offense. Santa Clara extended its lead to 42-34 on a run that included a coast-to-coast lay-in by Graham. Two key baskets by Rondel in the final three minutes secured the Bronco lead and a three by Graham with 1:33 on the clock made it a 12-point lead.
Santa Clara will play five of its final six regular-season games at home in the Leavey Center. The Broncos will start next Thursday, with a 7 p.m. tip-off against Loyola Marymount, and follow with Pepperdine on Valentine's Day, also scheduled for 7 p.m.