Dec. 29, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team pushed its winning streak to five games Saturday afternoon as the Broncos posted a 76-66 victory over Northern Arizona in non-conference action. With the win, SCU improved to 9-3 on the season, while the Lumberjacks dropped to 4-9 overall.
"We did exactly what we wanted to do in the beginning of the first half and that was to set to tone on the defensive end," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "We got a lot of big stops and we played with a lot of intensity. In the second half, Northern Arizona got a few easy buckets and we gave up careless turnovers. However, midway through, Liz Doran had a huge charge and we earned big defensive rebounds that helped us remain on top."
Leading the way for the Broncos was senior Jen Gottschalk, who produced her third double-double of the season with a game-high 27 points and a team-best 12 rebounds. She also tied the game-high four steals. Senior guard Chandice Cronk chipped in with 17 points, while senior guard Tracey Walker added 12 points.
Santa Clara opened the first half with a 12-2 run on points from Cronk, Gottschalk, Sara Majors and Elizabeth Doran. However, Northern Arizona responded in the 14th minute of the game with a jumper from Ashley Ingle, which began a 9-2 rally and brought the Lumberjacks within two-points, 17-15. Yet, the Broncos continued to hold the advantage and pulled away to a six-point edge, 26-20, on a three-pointer from Walker. Gottschalk added another three points for the Broncos less than a minute later to make the score, 29-22.
With 1:31 left in the first half, the Gottschalk nailed a layup to give SCU its largest lead of the game, 45-32, before NAU posted a 6-0 run to end the first half, 45-38, on a jumper from Levyna Ben.
A six point run based solely on the efforts of Ingle brought Northern Arizona within one-point of Santa Clara, 45-44, and with a made jumper from Lauran Dinkins, the Lumberjacks grabbed their only lead of the game, 46-45. However, Doran answered for the Broncos with a trey with 17:23 on the clock. The Broncos compiled an 11-2 run on free throws from Gottschalk along with a pair of free throws and a three-pointer from Walker to put the Broncos up by eight-points, 56-48.
NAU did not give up easily and brought the score within two-points, 58-56, on a jumper from Dinkins with 11:42 remaining in regulation. That was the closest the Lumberjacks would get to the Broncos for the remainder of the contest. SCU ended their fifth consecutive win of the season on a triplet of free throws from Cronk and a final free throw from Majors with 40 seconds left.
For the Lumberjacks, Ingle and Dinkins registered 19 points each, while Dinkins recorded a game-high 13 rebounds, seven of which were offensive boards. Meanwhile, Sade Cunningham dished out a game-high six rebounds and was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
The Broncos return to action on Monday, Dec. 31 against the Titans of CS Fullerton. Tip off is slated for 5 p.m. at the Leavey Center.