Santa Clara Can't Hold Late Lead In 64-58 Setback
Feb. 18, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Fortunes were reversed in a most unfavorable manner Sunday afternoon for the Santa Clara women's basketball team, as the Broncos, after controlling the first half of the game against the San Francisco Dons at War Memorial Gymnasium, fell victim to the Dons' red-hot second half in dropping a 64-58 decision.
The Broncos (13-14, 5-7 WCC) will return home next weekend to complete the regular season, hosting Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. SCU will battle the Lions in a 7 p.m. Thursday night contest before facing the Waves on Senior Day at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.
Ashley Graham led the team with 13 points Sunday, bringing her career total to 995. This virtually assures the fact that at home next weekend, Graham should become the 16th member of Santa Clara women's basketball's "1,000-Point Club." Graham also led the Broncos Sunday with six rebounds and four assists.
Chandice Cronk, who scored eight points in the game, hit one three-pointer to bring her season tally to 90, breaking Julie Leinert's 16-year old SCU single-season record of 89. Cronk is also currently tied for the WCC single-season record, with now co-holder Jessica Malone, who hit 90 threes for Gonzaga in 2001-02.
Yet the Broncos on Sunday fell victim to what have of late been their two Achilles' heels, shooting percentage and rebounding. SCU shot only 33.9% from the floor for the game, and were out-rebounded 41-29 by the Dons, who rebounded from a 37.0% showing from the floor in the first half to shoot a scorching 17-of-26 (65.4%) in the final 20 minutes.
Sara Majors scored eight points in the first half in her first start since Nov. 22, 2004, as the Broncos built a lead as large as 16 at one point, scoring 14 straight points to take an early 24-8 lead.
Despite taking a 32-22 lead at halftime, and extending that lead to 13 with Jen Gottschalk's three-pointer 11 seconds into the second half, the Broncos could not stop the Dons from chipping away at the lead until finally overcoming it.
Lisa Olden went 6-for-7 from the floor with 13 points in the second half to finish with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Dominique Carter scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead five Dons who pulled down at least six boards.
USF cut the Bronco lead to seven with six straight points after Gottschalk's three to start the half, but a three from Graham got SCU some breathing room at 38-28. Yet USF kept coming, and the SCU lead dwindled down over the next eight minutes until the Dons tied it at 46-apiece with 7:56 to play on a pair of Heidi Heintz free throws.
Shay Rollins, who scored nine points, gave the Dons their first lead since the opening bucket, with a layup with 7:16 to play. The Broncos would regain the lead only once more, as Anna Martin's three put them ahead 56-55 with 2:17 left, but the advantage was short-lived as Olden's layup on the ensuing possession put USF back on top.
A Claire Goins jumper with a minute to play tied the game at 58-58, but the Dons scored the final six points of the game, as Rollins hit a crushing three-pointer with 36 seconds left to put USF ahead 61-58, and after Tracey Walker's three-pointer missed the mark, Carter sewed things up with a pair of free throws after being fouled when grabbing the rebound.