March 1, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Five Broncos reached double-figures as the Santa Clara women's basketball team defeated the Pilots of Portland Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center. With the win, SCU closed out the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and an 8-6 West Coast Conference action. UP dropped to 15-14 on the season and 5-9 in league play.
Senior Tracey Walker and redshirt junior Sara Majors tied the game-high 17 points, while Majors registered her fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 12 rebounds. Senior Jen Gottschalk added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Broncos as she notched her 11th double-double of the season. Meanwhile, junior Elizabeth Doran and freshman Nicole Gall chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Broncos and Pilots battled for possession of the ball, tying the score three times in the first four minutes of the game. Doran scored a three-point goal to give Santa Clara a five point edge, 11-6, right before a timeout was called on the floor. The Broncos then exploded to a 12-point lead, 22-10, on free throws from Walker and Majors along with a trey from Gall and a tip-in by Gottschalk with 10:55 remaining.
Santa Clara continued to hold control of the ball game, claiming a 17-point lead on a fast break layup by Gall with 1:17 to play. Rachel Stratton made a jumper for the Pilots with less than a minute to play, but the Broncos had the final say of the half with a layup by Majors, 44-27.
Majors converted a four-point play to open the second half for the Broncos, 48-29. A jumper by Doran with 17:32 to play gave Santa Clara a 20-point advantage, 52-32. SCU compiled an 8-0 run consisting of six straight points from Walker.
The Pilots did not back down and forced the Broncos defense to work extra hard. Despite exchanging baskets, Santa Clara remained on top and created its largest lead of the contest, 27-points, on a jumper from Doran, 64-37, with 12:37 to play. SCU held that lead once again, 66-39, on a tip-in by Majors.
Portland produced a seven-point run ending with a three-pointer by Laiken Dollente to bring Santa Clara's lead to 20-points, 66-46, with 7:14 left. The Pilots then made it a 13-point game, 70-57, with a trey by Allyson Sievers. Gottschalk halted the Pilots run with a under the basket layup with 2:38 remaining and then scored another deuce seconds later to make the Broncos lead 74-57. With seven seconds left, Claire Goins made both free shots to give Santa Clara a 76-62 victory.
The Broncos return to action on Thursday, March 6 at the 2008 WCC Championships in San Diego. Fans should check www.SantaClaraBroncos.com for bracket information.