Santa Clara's Comeback Bid Falls Short In 77-69 Setback
Feb. 24, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On an emotional Senior Day Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center, the Santa Clara women's basketball team fought tooth-and-nail with the Pepperdine Waves before falling 77-69 in the final minutes. The Broncos, after trailing by as many as 16 at one point in the second half, closed to within two in the final minutes before the Waves sealed the game from the free-throw line.
The Broncos (13-16, 5-9 WCC), with the loss, now end up with the No. 6 seed heading into next weekend's West Coast Conference Tournament, where they will face the third-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions at 6 p.m. Thursday evening at the Chiles Center in Portland. The Lions won both meetings against the Broncos this season, including a 65-56 win this past Thursday at the Leavey Center.
Chandice Cronk led the Broncos with 17 points on Saturday, while Ashley Graham, in her final home game as a Bronco, put up a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. Anna Martin scored 11 points to round out the Broncos scoring in double figures, and led the team with four rebounds.
Teiosha George carried the Waves underneath the hoop, scoring 23 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Sherriel Boyd scored 10 points and Teena Wickett scored eight and grabbed a game-high eight boards.
After a back-and-forth first half which saw the Waves take a 30-27 lead into the locker room, the Broncos scored six of the first eight points of the second half on a pair of threes from Martin to grab a 33-32 lead.
Yet Pepperdine quickly turned things around, going on a 23-6 run over the next seven minutes to grab what seemed to be a commanding 55-39 lead with 11:31 left to play.
But the Broncos, unwilling to go down so easily on Senior Day, rallied back, furiously pressing the Pepperdine offense, contesting every pass and shot. The surge worked as with 6:41 to play and the Waves up 66-56, the Broncos got a jumper from Cronk and followed that up with a pair of stops on the defensive end, and a pair of threes from Martin and Cronk to get to within two at 66-64 with 4:46 left.
It was a two-point game again at 68-66 with 3:41 to play after the teams traded free throws, but the Waves, who went 23-for-27 at the line Saturday, took advantage of the Broncos being over the limit and made seven free throws the rest of the way to ice the game.