Nov. 5, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball program opened the 2004-05 season with a 100-63 exhibition victory over San Francisco State tonight at the Leavey Center. Senior guard Quinn Thomas scored 15 to lead a group of six players that posted double digits.
All 12 SCU players that suited up scored in tonight's contest. Following Thomas were Chandice Cronk and Michelle Cozad, who notched 11 points apiece, and Sara Majors, Tracey Walker and Ashley Gonnerman, who each hit the 10-point plateau. Tori Markey led all Broncos with nine rebounds.
Bianca Rayford led the Gators with a double-double, posting 18 points and 12 rebounds.
In second-half action, Santa Clara used long-range accuracy to pull away from a 40-35 halftime score, registering nine of the team's 14 threes after intermission. The team shot 53.8 percent from the field in the period and posted 15 steals in the frame.
LuLue Burton scored on a lay-up off the opening tip to open the night's scoring and a jumper by Ashley Haggerty put SFSU ahead 4-3 early on. That marked the last time the visitors had the advantage, as Santa Clara opened shooting with three three-pointers in its first four field goals.
The contest was close through the first half of the game, with the Broncos slowing growing a five-point edge. Lauren Michalski saw her first action as a Bronco, after red-shirting the 2003-04 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Kayla Huss also returned to the courts, after a back injury kept her on the bench last year. Her first three of the night put SCU ahead 23-17 with eight minutes remaining in the period.
Santa Clara held an eight-point lead with two seconds until half, but DeAnna Butler drew a foul on her last-second three-point attempt. She made all three shots at the charity stripe to pull the Gators within five at intermission.
Santa Clara returned from the lockerroom with newfound momentum, and pulled ahead quickly in the second half. Ashley Graham hit back-to-back threes from the right wing to push the lead to 50-37 and forced San Francisco State to call a time out.
A steal at half court from Majors followed by a lay-up pushed the lead past the 20-point marker. Thomas followed with back-to-back steals for lay-ins to push the lead to 30, 71-41, just two minute later.
Gator Crystal Hutchinson broke a three-minute scoring drought with a trey from the left side to end SCU's 17-0 run.
In the final two minutes of the game, Markey stole a ball on the press, passed it to Graham, who turned and fed Michalski for the lay-up that pushed scoring to the century mark. The team received a standing ovation when the final buzzer sounded.
Tonight's match was the first of two tune-ups for the squad. The Broncos will host UC Santa Cruz on Monday, November 15. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is also free to the public. Santa Clara will open the regular season at home against Fresno State on Monday, November 22, at 7 p.m.