July 24, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team will aim for its fifth straight postseason appearance on Nov. 17 when the Broncos open the 2001-02 season at the Sheraton Four Points Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the first of a 27-game schedule, head coach Chris Denker announced today.
The Santa Clara University basketball team continues its tradition of playing one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the nation this season with two games against teams from the Pacific-10 Conference, two from the Western Athletic Conference and a trip to one of the Big Ten Conference's traditional powers.
"We're playing another tough schedule against teams with good RPIs," Denker said. "At first glance, it might not seem that way, but our fans will see soon enough that schools like TCU, Temple and Washington will present strong challenges for us. I feel good that we'll be well prepared heading into conference play."
The Broncos open the season with two road tournaments in Minnesota and Washington. The Sheraton Four Points Classic will also feature Butler, while the Washington Invitational will bring Princeton and Northeastern. Santa Clara will also visit non-conference opponents Stanford, Pacific, Fresno State and Texas Christian.
Santa Clara plays five home games during the non-conference portion of the schedule, opening with the annual Clash of the County vs. San Jose State on Nov. 27. The Broncos will also host Cal Poly, Temple and Portland State before closing out the year against CS Northridge, as part of a tripleheader of collegiate basketball with the men's Cable Car Classic.
Santa Clara will begin its defense of its West Coast Conference Title when Gonzaga visits the mission campus on Jan. 10. League play continues through the end of February. The Broncos will return to San Diego for the WCC Tournament Feb. 28-March 3. A tournament title would assure the Broncos' fifth straight postseason appearance, as Santa Clara made program history last year with its fourth consecutive trip, advancing to the WNIT.
"Conference play is going to be really tough this year," Denker said. "Saint Mary's is the clear-cut favorite, as they won the WCC Tournament and return almost everybody. Loyola Marymount will be good coming off their program's best season ever and teams like San Francisco and Gonzaga will be much improved."
For the second-straight season, Bronco fans will be treated to a major renovation of Santa Clara's home court - The Leavey Center. Phase two of construction began in March and, when completed, will include new upper level seating with reserved chairback seating, a club suite, new concession areas and improved lower-level sightlines in the corner sections.
The Broncos return two starters from last year's team that won the West Coast Conference regular season title en route to a first round appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament an a 20-8 record.
Leading the way will be All-WCC performers and senior guards Becki Ashbaugh and Caroline Gruening. Also returning to the lineup will be junior Tammy Annas, who redshirted last season while recovering from a torn ACL.
2001-02 Women's Basketball ScheduleDate Opponent Location
Nov. 1 Bay Area Pro-Am# Santa Clara
Nov. 8 Basketball Travelers (Foreign)# Santa Clara
Sheraton Four Points Classic
Nov. 17 TBA Minneapolis, Minn.
Nov. 18 TBA Minneapolis, Minn.
Nov. 23 Princeton Seattle, Wash.
Nov. 24 Washington/Northeastern Seattle, Wash.
Clash of the County (doubleheader with men's team)
Nov. 27 San Jose State Santa Clara
Dec. 2 Stanford Stanford, Calif.
Dec. 9 Cal Poly Santa Clara
Dec. 12 Pacific Stockton, Calif.
Dec. 15 Fresno State Fresno, Calif.
Dec. 19 Temple Santa Clara
Dec. 21 Portland State Santa Clara
Cable Car Classic (tripleheader with men's Cable Car Classic)
Dec. 29 CS Northridge Santa Clara
Jan. 3 Texas Christian Fort Worth, Texas
Jan. 10 Gonzaga* Santa Clara
Jan. 12 Portland* Santa Clara
Jan. 16 San Diego* San Diego, Calif.
Jan. 19 San Diego* Santa Clara
Jan. 25 Pepperdine* Malibu, Calif.
Jan. 26 Loyola Marymount* Los Angeles, Calif.
Jan. 31 Saint Mary's* Santa Clara
Feb. 2 San Francisco* Santa Clara
Feb. 7 Portland* Portland, Ore.
Feb. 9 Gonzaga* Spokane, Wash.
Feb. 15 San Francisco* San Francisco, Calif.
Feb. 16 Saint Mary's* Moraga, Calif.
Feb. 21 Loyola Marymount* Santa Clara
Feb. 23 Pepperdine* Santa Clara
Feb. 28-March 3 WCC Tournament San Diego, Calif.
# Exhibition game
* West Coast Conference match
Home games played at Leavey Center (5,000)
All Times listed are Pacific