Feb. 7, 2009
MORAGA, Calif. - Freshman Alyssa Shoji led the offense with a career-high 15 points but the Santa Clara women's basketball team lost a hard-fought battle, 68-54, at Saint Mary's Saturday afternoon in West Coast Conference action.
Junior Maggie Goldenberger tied her career high 15 points, while senior Sara Majors added 10 points for the Broncos (2-22, 0-9 WCC). Sophomore Kathy Willinsky had a strong defensive game for SCU and led the game with seven rebounds.
For the Gaels (9-15, 5-4 WCC), Katie Batlin led the game with 17 points, while Maija Lahde had 15 points and Ashlee Smith had 12 points.
It was a low scoring first 10 minutes as the Broncos and Gaels were tied, 10-10, with 10:51 to play. Majors and Lena Gipson each had four of SCU's 10 points. Louella Tomlinson ignited a 12-2 run to give Saint Mary's a 22-12 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the first half. Rhianna Faithfull's free throws at 6:59 interrupted the run and brought Santa Clara within eight points. However, the Broncos were then held scoreless for three minutes as the Gaels pulled head to a 13-point lead, 27-14. Santa Clara fought hard in the final three minutes to close the gap with jumpers from Willinsky and Goldenberger. Five straight points by Shoji brought the first half to a close for the Broncos trailing, 30-23.
Saint Mary's opened the second half with a 13-3 run to claim a 43-26 edge. Shoji and Willinsky tacked on three more points for Santa Clara but Saint Mary's climbed to a 54-29 lead. Yet, coming out of the under-12 timeout, the Broncos exploded with an 11-point run that began with a trey from Shoji and was fueled by Willinsky, Majors and Goldenberger. Tomlinson broke the rally with a layup, 56-42. The Broncos continued to fight but the deficit was too great. The Gaels won 68-54.
Santa Clara returns to action next week against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. The Broncos and Waves battle on Thursday, Feb. 12 with a 7 p.m. tip-off. SCU and LMU then face off on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. Santa Clara will honor the program's all-time leading scorer, Melissa King '93, in a halftime ceremony on Saturday.