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Pepperdine Tops Santa Clara For WCC Tournament Title

March 5, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Daphanie Kennedy scored the go-ahead basket to lead Pepperdine to an upset of top-seeded Santa Clara 71-67 Sunday in the West Coast Conference final.

"I think I'm numb quite honestly," said head coach Julie Rousseau of the team's third WCC championship since 2002. "I'm very happy. I just wanted to step back and watch these young women celebrate. Celebrate perseverance and that's really what they did, they persevered. And I'm very proud of them."

Tied at 67, Kennedy streaked down the middle for a layup with 9 seconds remaining. She made two free throws to secure the win, the first this season for the fourth-seeded Waves over Santa Clara.

Jasmane Clarendon led Pepperdine (14-16) with 15 points and Jessica Ross had 14. Kennedy, the tournament MVP, finished with 12.

Kelsey Ball, the WCC defensive player of the year, added 11 points for the Waves, who took an early lead and kept pressure on the Broncos (19-11).

Santa Clara's Michelle Cozad, the WCC Player of the Year, had 16 of her game-high 24 points in the first half. Her layup with about 50 seconds remaining put Santa Clara up 34-33 at halftime.

The Broncos were unable to inbound the ball for the potential tying basket with 6.8 seconds remaining and turned the ball over to Pepperdine with a change of possession after a scramble and tie-up with 1.4 seconds remaining.

"We knew that it was our possession," commented Rousseau. "During our time out we were stressing that the jump ball was ours and that gave us the freedom to really go after the ball knowing that if we got that jump ball it would be our ball."

Kennedy was fouled and made both free throws.

WCC All-Tournament Team

Daphanie Kennedy, Pepperdine (MVP)
Jasmane Clarendon, Pepperdine
Michelle Cozad, Santa Clara
Chandice Cronk, Santa Clara
Dominique Carter, San Francisco