Feb. 23, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara women's basketball team lost a hard-fought battle to San Francisco, 88-73, Saturday night at the War Memorial Gym. With the loss the Broncos are now 7-5 in West Coast Conference action and 18-9 overall, while the Dons improved to 5-7 in league play and 14-13 on the season.
Leading the Broncos efforts was senior Tracey Walker. She tallied 21 points and dished out five assists. Jen Gottschalk, Sara Majors and Nicole Gall also scored double figures for Santa Clara. Gottschalk added 13 points and four rebounds, while Gall chipped in with 16 points. Majors registered 14 points and a team-best seven rebounds for the Broncos.
USF earned early control of the scoreboard in the first half as the Dons jumped to a 5-0 lead on a free shot by Heidi Heintz, a fast break layup made by Shay Rollins and a jumper from Nykia Peace. Yet, Walker tied the game for the Broncos with five straight points in less than one minute. Walker then nailed another trey to give Santa Clara its first lead of the night, 8-5, with 17:19 to play. Although Heintz knotted the score, Gottschalk scored a three-pointer off an assist from Elizabeth Doran to give SCU an 11-8 advantage.
The Broncos were able to hold off attempts by the Dons before Walker posted a jumper to make the score 13-8. Yet, USF fought to back and with a layup by Heintz, the Dons took a one-point lead, 17-16, with 12:54 remaining. Santa Clara rallied on points from Gall, Doran and Walker to create a five-point edge, 24-19, with 8:11 left. Yet, Peace tied the game for USF, 24-24, with a jumper. The Dons then compiled a 20-2 run fueled by three-point goals from Dominique Carter, Necolia Simmons and Peace to make the score, 42-26. Santa Clara was able to tack on eight more points ending the first half on a trey from Gall, 42-32.
Santa Clara, unable to score in the opening minutes of the second half, called for a team timeout after San Francisco widened its lead to 16 points on a trey from Rollins, 50-34. Majors ended the Dons' 8-0 early run with a jumper off an assist from Gottschalk with 16:50 to play.
With 13:20 left, the Broncos cut the lead to 11 points on a layup by Majors, 54-43. A trey from Doran then made it a 10-point game for Santa Clara just two minutes later, 58-48. USF increased its lead to 67 points but SCU continued its fight as Gall scored eight points with back-to-back three-pointers and a jumper with 7:30 left.
Despite tremendous efforts from several players, Santa Clara was unable to gain control and faced its second loss of the week, 88-73.
For USF, Carter led all players with 26 points, while Rollins and Simmons compiled double-doubles. Rollins had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Simmons tallied 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Broncos return to the Leavey Center for their final two games of the regular season next week. Santa Clara hosts the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Then on Saturday, March 1, help the Broncos celebrate Senior Day with a 2 p.m. game against Portland.