Jan. 28, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Having already sealed one Broncos win this season with a last-second shot, Kayla Huss proved once more Saturday afternoon her ability to step up and carry her team to victory. Huss scored all 12 of her points in the second half, including a clutch seven in the final four minutes to help Santa Clara hold off the San Diego Toreros 67-63 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The win is SCU's fourth in a row, and improves the team's mark to 11-9 overall and 5-2 in conference play.
Huss led five Broncos in double figures scoring, in addition to shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor. Michelle Cozad posted her 11th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Kasey Monteith turned in her first-career double-double, scoring 12 and grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds. Tracey Walker and Anna Martin scored 11 points apiece as well.
Neither team scored until two-and-a-half minutes had ticked away, when San Diego's Polly Dong opened the scoring with a lay-up. Monteith answered right away with an easy two of her own, and with the gauntlets thrown, the battle was on.
The Broncos built a 21-13 lead at one point in the first half, but the Toreros (7-13, 2-5 WCC) reeled off seven-straight points to cut the SCU advantage to one.
The score stood knotted at 24-apiece with 5:39 remaining in the half as each team's shooting percentage hovered just above the 40% mark. A free throw from Monteith followed by a USD turnover and Chandice Cronk lay-up put the Broncos back in front at 27-24.
From there Santa Clara kept San Diego at an arm's length, riding Cozad's 12 points and six rebounds and Monteith's seven and four to a 40-30 halftime lead.
The Broncos started off the second half on fire, scoring the first 10 points and keeping the Toreros off of the scoreboard for the first 3:43 of the half. But things got tighter as the half went on, as the Toreros went on a 21-2 run that made it a one-point game at 52-51.
The Toreros took a 56-55 lead on a Kelly Winther three with under six minutes left, but a pair of Martin free throws on the next trip down put the Broncos back in front.
The Broncos never relinquished their lead from that point, as Huss took over with a pair of jumpers and a three-pointer giving the Broncos much-needed breathing room at .... The Toreros began fouling with less than a minute remaining, but Huss and Walker drained their free throws to ice the game for SCU.
The second-place Broncos will now head home to host Pacific Northwest foes Gonzaga and Portland next weekend. The action starts off with a 7 p.m. Thursday night contest against the Bulldogs and concludes with a Saturday afternoon match-up at 2 p.m. against the Pilots. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660.