Dec. 7, 2003
RENO, Nev. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team earned its third straight road victory, defeating Nevada 60-53 this afternoon in non-conference action at the Lawlor Event Center. Senior guard Whitney Sutak came off the bench for 14 points, as the Broncos even their record to 3-3 on the season. The Wolf Pack was paced by April Bankston's double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, but remain winless at 0-6.
Despite scoring only seven points in the game's final 11 minutes, Santa Clara's 12-point lead was enough to hold on for the win. Red-shirt freshman forward Tori Markey and freshman guard Ashley Graham scored nine points each while junior guard Michelle Cozad grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Santa Clara got off to a rocky start, turning the ball over six times during its first nine possessions, and forcing head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson to call two time outs in the game's first eight minutes. However, the Broncos were never far behind, as Nevada opened with 2-10 shooting from the field. Two straight baskets from Jessica Preslar put the Wolf Pack ahead 21-18 with six minutes remaining before intermission. Santa Clara responded, and a three from reserve Yasemin Kimyacioglu put SCU ahead 27-23 just inside two minutes. Preslar, who had 10 by half, scored again and a three by Talisha Quick-Rath tied the contest at 28 as the teams headed into the lockerrooms.
Santa Clara started anew in the second half, and opened with two quick scores that forced Nevada to call a time out. Freshman Ashley Gonnerman scored in the post, and Cozad netted a steal and a lay-up to push the lead to four in the first minute of second-half action. Junior guard Quinn Thomas added a jumper and Gonnerman netted two free throws for an 8-0 run to open the period.
"I think we started the second half with a lot of intensity," Bento-Jackson said of her team's rush after halftime. "Our transition game started looking good, and we also managed the game clock in the final five minutes better than in past games."
Graham netted a three from the left wing and added a driving basket on the Broncos' next possession to push Santa Clara's lead to 10, 51-41, at 11:24. The Broncos extended that lead by one basket, but missed four of their final five free throw attempts and shot a season-low .474 from the charity stripe.
Gonnerman earned her first collegiate start and finished with eight points and five rebounds.
The Broncos will take their fall quarter exams this week and return to action on Saturday, Dec. 13, visiting Fresno State for a 2:30 p.m. contest. Santa Clara will then return home for a three-game homestand before taking a break for the holidays.