Dec. 1, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Junior Michelle Cozad led the Broncos in scoring for the third straight contest, netting 34 points to lead the Santa Clara University women's basketball team to a 79-69 victory over Sacramento State tonight at Hornet Gym. Her output ties for the second best individual game performance by a Bronco, last seen by Caroline Gruening against Saint Mary's at the 2002 West Coast Conference Championships.
Senior Whitney Sutak added 17 points off the bench, as the Broncos improve to 2-2 on the season. The Hornets drop their home opener and remain winless at 0-5.
"I didn't think we started the game with as much intensity and we got in tremendous foul trouble," head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said post-game. "However, everybody stepped up and we pulled off a win on the road, which is something to be proud of."
Tyeisha Brown came off the bench to lead Sacramento State with 18 points, while Danielle Iceman and Katelyn Ciampi added 14 and 11 respectively. Jessica Voisard pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Hornets.
The Broncos shot a season-high 51 percent from the field, but 29 fouls gave Sacrament State 45 chances from the free throw line, the most in a single contest against Santa Clara in program history.
Bronco freshman Ashley Graham opened the night with a three from the left wing, followed by senior Jennie Rondel's lay-up to extend the team's advantage. Early foul trouble sent Sacramento State to the line often, and the Hornets scored 14 of 21 from the charity stripe in the first half.
During a four-minute stretch midway through the frame, Sutak and Cozad hit back-to-back threes to spark a 16-5 Bronco run. The duo capped the streak with back-to-back drives that opened a 35-25 lead, Santa Clara's largest of the half. A time out allowed Sacramento State to regroup and the Hornets cut the lead to four just outside the two-minute mark, but Sutak answered with another three and had 10 points by the break.
In all, the teams traded leads four times and saw five ties during the period, but the Broncos came away with a 42-36 advantage at intermission, marking the team's first halftime lead of the season. Santa Clara accomplished the feat by shooting 60.7 percent from the field, including 5-9 from behind the arc.
Foul trouble found the Broncos again to start the second half, as Santa Clara was whistled five times in the period's first 2 and one-half minutes. The Broncos recovered and slowly extended their lead, with a three-point play by freshman Ashley Gonnerman returning Santa Clara's advantage to double digits, 58-48 midway through the half. Two minutes later, the Broncos pushed that lead to 15, 65-50, with two free throws from Gonnerman.
Three Broncos fouled out in the final eight minutes: Gonnerman, Rondel and redshirt freshman Tori Markey.
The Hornets mounted a charge and halved that lead to seven, at 74-67, just inside the three-minute mark, with two free throws from Samania Black. It would be as close as Sacramento State would come, as a three-point play by Cozad restored the double-digit lead.
The Broncos return home for a Thursday contest against BYU. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. Santa Clara will close this week's action in Reno, with a Sunday 2 p.m. contest against the Wolf Pack.