Women's Basketball on the Road for Three Games in Six Days

Dec. 12, 2000

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This Week Santa Clara's women's basketball (4-2) concludes a six-game road trip with three non-conference contests in six days, beginning with Cal Poly on Wednesday and followed by another in-state match-up at Sacramento State on Friday, before flying to the Midwest for a visit to DeKalb, Ill., home of the Northern Illinois Huskies on Monday night. The Broncos will then break for the holidays.

The Opponents Cal Poly is 5-1 on the season and was undefeated until a 79-64 loss to Pepperdine last Saturday night. The Mustangs are led by forward Caroline Rowles and Stephanie Osorio, who are averaging 11.5 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. As a team, Cal Poly is limiting its opponents to 62.0 points per game, which shouldn't be an issue for the Broncos, as they are averaging six points above that mark.

Sacramento State is winless in six games, falling to half of those opponents by no more than six points. Guard Michelle St. Clair is leading all Hornets with 17.3 points per game, including a 28-point performance against Cal Poly. Also averaging double digits is Sephora Scoubes, with her 12.0 per-game mark.

Northern Illinois is 2-6 on the season and will host UC Irvine on Dec. 16 before Santa Clara arrives two days later. The Huskies have three players averaging double digits in points, led by senior center Michelle Johnson at 11.3 per game. She also adds 7.4 rebounds per contest.

The Starting Lineup Santa Clara returns two starters from the 1999-2000 season in senior center Annie Garrison and junior guard Becki Ashbaugh. Garrison has started all six contests for the Broncos this year, while an ankle sprain prevented Ashbaugh from starting Sunday afternoon at Cal. Junior guard Caroline Gruening, a former walk-on now on scholarship, has started all six regular-season games for Santa Clara. Junior forward Jennifer Glysson and sophomore forward Kendra Rhea have each registered four starts, while senior guard Kim Sorenson has begun three contests. Also starting this season was senior guard Kristin Franklin in two match-ups. Junior forward Tammy Annas, a starter last year and projected to be an integral part of this year's lineup, is out for the season recovering from surgery after tearing an ACL in her left knee in an October pick up game.

Bronco Probable Starting Lineup
No. Pos. Name Yr. Ht. PPG RPG
52 F Kendra Rhea So. 6-0 10.5 5.0
32 F Jen Glysson Sr. 6-0 8.6 7.8
14 C Annie Garrison Sr. 6-3 12.7 9.2
11 G Caroline Gruening Jr. 5-7 12.3 3.3
3 G Becki Ashbaugh Jr. 5-5 8.2 2.5

In the Rankings Santa Clara began the season unranked, but does face three ranked opponents on its regular-season schedule, according to the Associated Press and ESPN/USA polls. Santa Clara fell to No. 18 Stanford 85-57 on Nov. 20 and 12th-ranked Oregon 54-62 on Dec. 2 for its only two losses on the season. To end the year, the Broncos host No. 8 Texas Tech on Dec. 30.

Not in the Rankings On Nov. 29, Santa Clara began a stretch where five of the next six games will be against teams that posted losing records last season. Up first was South Bay-rival San Jose State, who went 3-24 in 1999-2000. The Broncos won that one 85-68. After a loss to No. 12 Oregon, the Broncos defeated California 77-33, and remain on the road for matches at Cal Poly, Sacramento State and Northern Illinois. Not including the Ducks, who went 23-8 last season, the combined record of the other five teams was 36-101 last season.

On the Bench Blues With 14 players on the roster, Santa Clara should have an unlimited variety of lineups at its disposal, but early-season injuries have kept half the team on the bench. Junior Becki Ashbaugh did not start against California on Dec. 10 while nursing an ankle sprain suffered in a Tuesday practice, but she did play and finished with 12 points in 27 minutes, making eight of 10 free throws at the end of the game to seal the victory. Also returning to the court against the Bears was senior Jen Glysson, who did not play against Oregon last weekend after suffering a concussion during the San Jose State game on Nov. 29. She finished with 10 points in 20 minutes against Cal. Sophomore Julie Butler and junior Tammy Annas were injured on the same night--four days before practice started on Oct. 15--20 minutes apart in a pickup game. Butler broke and tore ligaments in her ankle but has played the last three games, averaging 13 minutes, 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds. Annas tore her left ACL and has already had surgery. She will miss the entire season. Freshman Alex Gientke and Megan Nelson have yet to play for the Broncos while recovering from injuries suffered while in high school.

Senior Center Annie Garrison A two-time unanimous All-WCC performer, Annie Garrison is 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 currently has 171 blocks, doubling second-place Christine Rigby's 83 blocks from 1996-98. Garrison could also 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. She's currently at 861. A leader off the court as well, Garrison carries a 3.74 in mathematics and is a pre-season favorite for All-Academic honors.

Rhea of Light for Broncos Sophomore forward Kendra Rhea put on a show at San Jose State to end the month of November, posting a career-high 19 points, making nine of 13 shots. She's currently third on the team in shooting average, at 10.5 per game. She's also pulled down 30 rebounds, or 5 per contest. Rhea has started four games this season, after appearing in 17 as a freshman, averaging 2.3 points per game.

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. Neither has played so far this season. Rondel is the lone newcomer to the frontcourt, arriving from a very successful Washington program. She has seen action in five contests, averaging seven minutes, 3.0 points and 0.6 rebounds.

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