March 1, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Santa Clara Broncos women's basketball team could not spring the upset in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament Thursday night. The sixth-seeded Broncos got out to a 34-32 halftime lead, but could not keep pace in the second half, falling 65-49 to the third-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions at the Chiles Center. LMU used a 20-2 second-half run to turn a five-point deficit into a 13-point lead with 5:17 remaining in the game. Santa Clara finished the season with a 13-17 record.
Santa Clara had an outstanding first half to grab a 34-32 lead at the break. The Broncos shot 52 percent from the field and dominated in the paint, outscoring the Lions 22-10. Seven of the Broncos first eight baskets came from the painted area with Gonnerman making the team's only three-pointer during that stretch. Martin led SCU with nine first half points on 4-for-5 shooting, while Monteith and Gonnerman scored eight and seven to lead the balanced attack.
Trailing 15-10 early on, SCU went on a 9-0 run to grab a 19-15 lead and control of the game. The Broncos would eventually expand the lead to six at 34-28 with 2:55 to go in the half.
The second half was a different story for SCU. The Broncos came out strong again with junior Jen Gottschalk scoring five early points. However, after Santa Clara took a 43-38 lead at the 14:21 mark on a basket by Monteith, Loyola Marymount exploded with a 20-2 run to take a 13-point lead. The Broncos went through a scoring drought of over seven minutes without a basket during the stretch. Gonnerman ended the drought with a lay-up off a dish from Ashley Graham.
After neutralizing the bigger Lions on the glass in the first half, the Broncos were outrebounded 28-16 in the second half. LMU held a 23-5 edge in second chance points for the game.
Thursday night marked was the final game for six seniors who had a big impact on the program at Santa Clara during their four seasons. Ashley Gonnerman, Ashley Graham, Yasemin Kimyacioglu, Anna Martin, Lauren Michalski and Kasey Monteith helped the Broncos to one regular season WCC championship, a conference tournament title, a WNIT appearance and one NCAA Tournament appearance during their careers. They combined to play in 582 games at SCU.
-SCU was held to a season-low two three-pointers on Thursday against Loyola Marymount.