Jan. 20, 2007
(Santa Clara, CA) - San Francisco battled mightily, but dropped a 89-83 double-overtime decision to ancient West Coast Conference rival Santa Clara Saturday night at the Leavey Center. The Dons (7-13, 1-4 WCC) missed some opportunities to win the game outright in regulation and the first overtime period and the second overtime session belonged to the Broncos (11-9, 3-2 WCC).
Junior center Lisa Olden poured in a career-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior forward Nickie Warren matched her season-high with 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double night in the Green and Gold. Junior guard Dominique Carter added 14 points, while sophomore guard Shay Rollins turned in her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
USF shot .388 (31-80) for the game, while the Broncos connected at a .437 (31-71) clip. The Dons won the battle of the boards 52-41, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive glass. San Francisco connected on .231 (3-13) from 3-point range, while SCU hit at a .318 (7-22) clip, but hit .500 (4-8) in the overtime sessions.
Santa Clara used some hot early shooting to bounce back from a 2-0 deficit in the early going and led by as many as 12 in the opening period. The Dons chipped away and used a late flurry to close to within seven, 35-28 capped by a Carter steal and lay-up with three seconds left on the clock. After a frigid start, USF connected at a .333 (11-33) clip from the field, while Santa Clara hit at a .540 (15-28). Olden led all scorers at the intermission with seven points.
USF was ice cold to start the second half, managing its first point on an Olden free throw with 14:43 left and its first field goal on a Carter bucket with 13:24 remaining. Fortunately the Broncos were not much better, scoring just nine points in the first nine minutes after recess. After trailing by as many as 14, the Dons whittled away at the lead and closed to within four, 47-43 with 7:30 left in regulation on a Carter lay-up.
Five unanswered points from Olden on a three-point play and a jumper tied the game at 53 apiece at the 5:17 mark. A 3-pointer from Warren gave the Dons a lead of three 58-55 with 4:12 on the clock. With the score tied at 63, the Broncos missed a baseline jumper with one second left to force overtime.
San Francisco struck first in overtime on a pair of Rollins free throws with 4:08 left in the extra session. The Dons built a three point lead, but the top team from long distance in the league converted from deep with 15 seconds remaining to force another frame of bonus basketball.
Once in the second overtime, the game belonged to Santa Clara's Chandice Cronk. The nation's leading 3-point shooter finished regulation 2-for-7 from long distance, but made all three of her attempts in the final five minutes to stake the Broncos to their sixth straight win in the series. Cronk finished with a game-high 30, leading three Broncos in double-digit scoring.
USF returns to action when it hosts defending WCC champion and league-leading Gonzaga Thursday, January 25. Tip-off against the Bulldogs is set for 7:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.