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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 1, 2007

San Diego - 62
Cal Poly - 53

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The University of San Diego women's basketball team scored eight unanswered points midway through the second half to turn a one-point game into a nine-point advantage and held Cal Poly at a distance the rest of the way en route to a 62-53 victory in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon in Mott Gym.

San Diego, led by Amber Sprague's team-high 20 points and career-high 17 rebounds, improved to 4-3 with the win. Cal Poly, which for the second straight game had just one double-digit scorer, Megan Harrison with a game-high 21 points, fell to 3-5 with the loss.

In the first half, the Toreros came out hitting on all cylinders, as they jumped on the Mustangs with an 8-1 run to start the frame. Back-to-back jumpers by Sprague ignited the run and Kiva Herman capped things off with a jumper to give USD a seven-point cushion with 14:36 to play.

After Cal Poly got back to within three at 10-7, San Diego went on an 18-1 run to take a 28-8 advantage with 6:14 to play. During this run, seven different USD players scored with Sprague scoring six of these points. Cal Poly then scored the final 11 points of the period to cut the deficit to 28-19 at the break.

The Mustangs closed the gap to one point in the second half at 34-33, with 12:41 to play on a three-pointer by Toni Newman, but the visiting Toreros answered with an 8-0 run of their own to maintain the upper hand. The run gave San Diego a 42-33 lead with 8:56 to play and Cal Poly could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Sprague made 9-of-22 shots and both of her free throws to pace the Toreros' offense. She also contributed five blocked shots and a pair of assists. Kiva Herman added 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting for San Diego and Amanda Rego dished out a game-high six assists in the win.

Cal Poly made just 32 percent of its shots while San Diego connected on 45 percent. The Toreros outrebounded the Mustangs 45-34.

The Toreros will return to action on Wednesday as they head across Interstate 8 to take on arch rival San Diego State University in a 7 p.m. non-conference game at Cox Arena.

Santa Clara - 67
Sacramento State - 60

SACRAMENTO - Senior guard Chandice Cronk sunk a career-high 33 points Saturday afternoon to lead the Santa Clara women's basketball team to a 67-60 triumph over Sacramento State in non-conference action. Cronk was 10-for-24 from the field and nearly perfect at the charity stripe with a .800 free throw percentage. With the win, the Broncos improved to 5-3 on the season, while the Hornets dropped to 1-5 overall.

"As much as Sac State kept the lead in the second half, we had huge defensive stops in the last minutes of the game that really contributed to our win tonight," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "It was a huge team effort. They had the will to win and they played with tremendous intensity and determination."

Senior Tracey Walker also gave a helping happed scoring 14 points, a game-high five assists and two steals. Redshirt junior Sara Majors pulled down a team-best six rebounds and recorded three assists.

Cronk started things off for the Broncos less than a minute into the game with a steal and nailed jumper to put the Broncos on the board, 2-0. However, the Hornets answered back with a three-point goal from Erika Edwards and posted a 11-0 run to take control of the scoreboard. Santa Clara rallied back on points from Cronk to bring the score within in two and then a made layup off a fast break from Walker tied the game, 11-11. Yet, Sac State took control again jumped to a 16-11 lead. Santa Clara fought the tied the score again and with 7:58 remaining a layup from freshman Becky Goll evened the game at 21-21.

Made baskets from Cronk fueled the Broncos 8-0 run to widen the gap to six points, 29-23, with 3:50 remaining. Yet, the Hornets knotted the score again on free throws from Atty Boyer and ended the first half with a four-point edge, 33-29.

At the start of the second half, Sac State continued to push ahead solely on points from Boyer, 39-32. The Hornets earned a seven-point lead on two occasions, the last with 6:42 remaining in regulation. A three-point goal from Emily Christensen put Sac State up, 53-46. Yet, the Broncos rallied back to bring the score within one point, 53-52 on deuces from Gottschalk and Walker and a pair of free throws from Majors but were still unable to tie the score. Finally, with 1:20 remaining in the second half, three consecutive free throws from Cronk knotted the score, 58-58, and a three-point goal gave the Broncos final control of the scoreboard, 61-58.

Cronk's final trey of the night sparked the Broncos 9-1 consisting of sets of free throws from Elizabeth Doran, Jen Gottschalk and Cronk gave SCU the 67-60 win.

For the Hornets, Edwards scored a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Boyer was perfect from the free throw line (10-for-10) and registered 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Dec. 8 against the Tigers of Pacific. Tip off is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif.

Cal - 90
Saint Mary's - 69

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Christina Wirth scored 18 points and had six rebounds and No. 23 Vanderbilt, sparked by a 20-0 run in the first half, rolled to a 90-69 win over Saint Mary's in a weekend tournament.

Jennifer Risper tied a career high with 12 points and added seven rebounds and five assists for the Commodores (7-1), who won their fourth straight. Vanderbilt, which was coming off an impressive 68-55 defeat of No. 11 Duke on Wednesday, had five players in double figures and led by as many as 28 despite committing 20 turnovers.

Next up for the Commodores is No. 12 California (6-1) on Sunday.

Lauren Shaughnessy had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists for Saint Mary's (5-4) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Serena Benavente added a career-high 16 points and five rebounds while Jontelle Smith scored 14 for the Gaels.

Wirth, the only Vanderbilt player to score in double figures in every game this season, had seven points in the first half before warming up. She scored nine points in the first seven minutes of the second half, including a 3-pointer to give the Commodores a 67-42 lead with 13:05 left to play.

Risper later scored on consecutive trips down the floor to extend Vanderbilt's lead to 74-46 before Saint Mary's made a brief charge at the Commodores. Shaugnessy had five points, including a 3-pointer during an 18-4 run, to pull the Gaels to 78-64 with 4:35 remaining. That was close as Saint Mary's got.

Wirth scored on a short hook shot from underneath the basket and Amy Malo had four points in a 12-5 Vanderbilt run to close out the game.

The Commodores trailed by six early in the first half and were down 25-24 with 9:30 left before breaking the game open with a 20-0 run. Lauren Leuders had seven points, three rebounds and an assist during the streak, which left Vanderbilt with a comfortable lead against the overmatched Gaels. St. Mary's also missed eight straight free throws and went into halftime trailing 44-29.

The two-day tournament is sponsored by the Contra Costa Times.