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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 12, 2007

Saint Mary's - 79
Fresno State - 68

MORAGA, CA - Jontelle Smith recorded a career-high 27 points en route to the Gaels' 79-68 victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs. With the win Saint Mary's improves their record to 6-5, while the Bulldogs fall to 1-7 overall. Smith shot 52.4 percent from the floor (11-of-21), while knocking down five from beyond the arc. The junior guard also chipped in five rebounds, four steals, and one assist for the Gaels.

Saint Mary's came out slow in the first half, as the Bulldogs took a 6-11 lead six minutes into the game. Smith would score on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 11-11 apiece, but the Bulldogs responded with a pair of free throws and a lay-up to take back the lead. The score would continue to remain close, as both teams found their rhythm on the offensive end. The Gaels would end the half down one, as Smith led the way with 12 points.

Both teams shot an impressive percentage from three point land, as the Gaels knocked down 5-of-10 from long range for a 50 percent shooting percentage. The Bulldogs went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, finishing with a 57.1 percentage. Smith recorded two of the Gaels' threes, as Erika Ruiz and Mikaela Cowles each chipped in one apiece.

At the start of the second half the Gaels would ignite, knocking down three threes and two jumpers in the first 2:25 minutes. With a 47-42 lead in hand Saint Mary's would never look back. Smith scored seven of the Gaels' first 13 points in the second half, hitting two jumpers and one three pointer. On her way to her 27 point career-high, Smith scored 15 points in the second half.

Serena Benavente and Louella Tomlinson joined Smith in the double-digit range, recording 14 and 13 points respectively. Benavente picked up a game-high six steals, while also dishing out four assists. Tomlinson posted a game-high seven blocks, improving her season total to 57. The forward's 57 blocks this season breaks the Saint Mary's record for blocks in a season, as the Australian native shatters the record less than half way into the season. Wrapping up the Gaels' top scorers was Lauren Shaughnessy with eight points in the game. Shaughnessy also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, while picking up four assists.

The Bulldogs were led by Erica Henry with a double-double, recording 19 points 14 rebounds. Tierre Wilson tallied 16 points for Fresno State, as she was 6-of-12 from the floor.

The Gaels return to action on Monday, December 17 at 5:45 PM as they travel to UC Davis for a single game road trip.

Santa Clara - 79
Cal Poly - 72

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team won their third straight contest Wednesday night with its 79-72 triumph over Cal Poly on the road. With the win the Broncos improved to 7-3 on the season, while the Mustangs dropped to 3-7 overall.

Senior Jen Gottschalk (Littleton, Colo.) led all players with 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Senior guard Chandice Cronk (Wasilla, Alaska) registered 18 points, while Tracey Walker (San Jose, Calif.) added 15 points and a game-high five assists. Meanwhile, junior Elizabeth Doran chipped in with 14 points and three steals.

Walker registered the first points of the game for the Broncos, 2-0, but the Mustangs created a nine-point gap, 18-9, in the first half on points from Rebecca Tratter, Megan Harrison and Nicole Yarwasky. Yet, Santa Clara fought back to post a 15-2 run on points from Doran, Gottschalk and Walker to earn a 24-20 advantage with 8:14 remaining. However, Cal Poly rallied back five straight points from Sparkle Anderson to make the score, 27-26.

The two teams kept the score tight for the rest of the first half, tying the game three times. A made jumper from Doran with 3:14 left gave the Broncos control of the scoreboard again, 34-32, and even though the Mustangs would come within one-point twice, SCU held the lead going into halftime thanks to efforts from Majors, who netted two free throws and a jumper to make the score, 38-35.

Strong offensive efforts from Gottschalk pushed the Broncos through the opening four minutes of the second half. Santa Clara climbed to a 48-41 lead on a triplet of layups for Gottschalk and a solid jumper from Cronk. The Broncos continued to widen the gap with a 14-0 run that started with a three-point goal from Walker, 51-46, and was fueled on seven points from Gottschalk. A trey from Doran gave SCU a 62-46 lead.

Yet, Cal Poly began to chip away at Santa Clara's lead and brought the score within six points, 67-61, on a layup from Kristina Santiago. Back-to-back three-point goals from Cronk put the Broncos back up by 10-points, 75-65, with 1:45 remaining in regulation. Both Cronk and Walker were sent to the free throw line with less than a minute left, and their four made shots gave the Broncos their 79-72 victory.

For the Mustangs, Tratter and Anderson had 14 points, while Harrison tallied 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Broncos return to the Leavey Center for their first game in a five game home stand on Friday, Dec. 21. Santa Clara will host San Jose State in the annual Rivalry Series contest. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.