Nov. 28, 2000
This Week Santa Clara's women's basketball (2-1) will play two road contests this week. First up is the "Clash of the County," as Santa Clara returns to action for a mid-week game against San Jose State. Originally scheduled for the San Jose Arena, the contest will be the first game of a double-header with the Bronco men at SJSU's Event Center. Tip-off is slated for Wednesday at 6 p.m. Santa Clara will then be a part of Oregon's Pape Jam, playing host Oregon at the Rose Garden in Portland. That matchup is also set for 6 p.m.
The Opponents San Jose State is 2-1 overall on the season, with wins over Sacramento State and UC Davis. The loss came at Saint Mary's. Santa Clara and the Spartans have been meeting annually since 1975, and the Broncos have not lost to SJSU since the 1989-90 season. Atari Parker opened the season with a 21-point performance against the Hornets and added 19 in the win against UC Davis. Oregon, currently ranked 12th in the country, has won the last two Pac-10 Conference titles. The Ducks defeated Santa Clara 66-60 in the Bay Area last season.
In the Rankings Santa Clara begins the season unranked, although its schedule features three ranked opponents, according to the Associated Press and ESPN/USA polls. Santa Clara fell to No. 18 Stanford 85-57 on Nov. 20 and will face 12th-ranked Oregon on Saturday. To end the year, the Broncos host No. 13 Texas Tech on Dec. 30.
Not in the Rankings Santa Clara begins a stretch where five of the next six games are against team that posted losing records last season. Up first is an evening contest against South Bay rival San Jose State, who went 3-24 in 1999-2000. After a meeting at No. 12 Oregon, the Broncos remain on the road for matches at California, Cal Poly and Sacramento State. Not including the Ducks, who went 23-8 last season, the combined record of the other five teams is 36-101.
Senior Center Annie Garrison A two-time unanimous All-WCC performer, Annie Garrison will be the team's captain for the second straight year. Garrison made her mark in Santa Clara's recordbooks early, setting the career total for shots blocked during her sophomore season. She enters her senior year with 160 total blocks, almost double second-place Christine Rigby's 83 blocks from 1996-98. Garrison could possibly finish her career as one of the all-time best field goal percentage shooters and rebounders in Santa Clara annals. And entering the season with 785 points, could become only the 12th Bronco all time to surpass the 1,000-point mark. A leader off the court as well, Garrison carries a 3.74 in mathematics and is a pre-season favorite for All-Academic honors.
Freshman Faces Alex Gientke, Megan Nelson and Jennie Rondel make the trio of new faces that join the team this season. Guards Gientke and Nelson join the backcourt. From Ventura High School in Southern California, Gientke was named Player of the Year in a solid area of basketball talent. Described as having a good head for the game, Denker said her three-point shooting ability will give Santa Clara greater depth. From South Eugene High School in Oregon, Nelson is a 5-10 guard recovering from an ACL tear she suffered in November while playing soccer. An All-State player, Nelson is used to winning, as her team was ranked 14th during last season by USA Today. Rondel is the lone newcomer to the frontcourt, arriving from a very successful Washington program. Once she finds a role to settle into, she should make great strides in the collegiate game.
Rebounding Connection Seniors Annie Garrison and Jen Glysson combined for 27 rebounds in the team's season-opening victory over Pacific, one more than the Tigers' entire roster. After three games, Garrison is leading the team with 12.7 boards per game, with Glysson right behind her with an 11.0 average.
Behind the Arc Santa Clara drilled seven three-point baskets in its opening-night victory against Pacific. Senior Kim Sorenson posted four of those, finishing the night with 14 points. Junior Caroline Gruening added two treys, while junior Becki Ashbaugh recorded the final one. Making 7 of 16, the Broncos finished the game shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc.
Season Openers Santa Clara's win over Pacific on Nov. 18 marked the eighth season-opening victory for the Broncos in the last 10 years and 22nd overall in 38 seasons. Additionally, it was the first season-opening game played at home in four years.