Women's Hoops Takes on Oregon in Sixth Road Contest of Season

Dec. 11, 2002

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This Week
The Santa Clara University women's basketball team remains on the road for a game against Pacific-10 opponent Oregon. The contest will take place in Eugene Sunday afternoon at McArthur Court.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast will be available for a third season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Leavey Center contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer, allowing users to listen to the audio broadcast and keep up with the statistics simultaneously. Anthony Passarelli returns as the voice of the Broncos for a second season.

Scouting the Oregon Ducks
Series Record: Oregon leads 6-1
First Meeting: 1983 - Oregon won (88-49) Jan. 29 in Eugene
Last Meeting: 2000 - Oregon won (62-54) Dec. 2 in Portland
Oregon Largest Margin of Victory: 39 on Jan. 29, 1983 (88-49) in Eugene
SCU Largest Margin of Victory: 12 on Feb. 2, 1985 (72-60) in Santa Clara
Oregon Record in 2001-02: 22-13 (10-8, 6th, Pac-10)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 8/5
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: Oregon is 3-3 on the season... the Ducks are led by Cathrine Kraayovald, who has been averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per contest.

Up Next: Broncos Return Home for Two Contests
Santa Clara will return home for two contests next week, hosting Loyola Chicago on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Pacific on Sunday. The game against the Tigers is an afternoon contest, slated for 2 p.m. The Broncos went 12-0 last season at the Leavey Center, but lost their home opener last week against Fresno State.

Thomas Leads the Backcourt
Sophomore Quinn Thomas has stepped into the starting lineup and has helped fill the void created by the graduation of All-WCC standouts Becki Ashbaugh and Caroline Gruening. Thomas, the only freshman to garner WCC Player of the Week honors last season, has nearly doubled her scoring output (from 4.5 ppg to 8.6), while boosting her rebounding average and field goal percentage.

Non-Conference Success
With a 10-3 non-conference mark last season, Santa Clara has posted 11 straight non-losing non-conference seasons and is 94-41 (.696) during that span. Santa Clara's most successful non-conference season ever came during the 1990-91 season when the Broncos went 12-2.

Leading the WCC
Santa Clara leads the WCC in field goal percentage (.417), rebounding margin (+4.5), assists (18.33) and defensive rebounds (29.0), while ranking second in three other categories: field goal percent defense, rebounding offense, rebounding defense, three-point field goals made and blocked shots.

Season/Game Tickets on Sale
Season and individual game tickets for Santa Clara are on sale through the school's official website www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660. In conjunction with Student Advantage's Official College Sports Network, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual games or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. Season and individual match ticket packages are also available through the athletic ticket office, open between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Head Coach Michelle Bento
Santa Clara appointed Mountain View, Calif., native Michelle Bento as the seventh head coach in the school's 38-year women's basketball history in June. Bento recently completed her fourth season on the women's basketball coaching staff at Syracuse under veteran coach Marianna Freeman and was recently promoted to Associate Head Coach. A 10-year coaching veteran, Bento served as the program's recruiting coordinator as well as worked with the Orangewomen perimeter players and opponent scouting. In her four seasons at Syracuse, Bento coached two perimeter players who were invited to the WNBA pre-draft camp and one player who was invited to the USA Junior World Championship trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. Additionally, Bento's most recent recruiting class was ranked 15th by All-Star Girls Reports. Bento, who helped guide the Big East Conference all-star team to a 6-0 record in a summer tour of Germany in 2001, inherits a program that went 21-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons. A 1992 graduate of Fresno State with a degree in physical education, Bento spent the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater. As a player, Bento helped the Bulldogs to an appearance in the NIT in 1990, and was team captain and MVP of the 1991 squad. In addition, Bento played on the Fresno State softball team, and was named to the College World Series All-Tournament team in 1992. In the spring of 2000, Bento was invited to the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago.

WCC Changes Basketball Tournament Format
The West Coast Conference Tournament will adopt a new format for the 2003 Championship, consisting of an eight-team/ play-in format. Under the new format, the fifth through eighth seeds will compete in the opening round. Waiting for the winners in the quarterfinals will be the third and fourth seeds, who will have first-round byes. The winners of the quarterfinal match-ups will go head-to-head with the top two seeds, who will have byes through the first two rounds of the tournament. "This format places a premium on regular season success and should lead to a very competitive regular season race in 2003." Commissioner Michael Gilleran said. This season's league championship will be held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus March 6-9. Beginning in 2004, the league will rotate the championship site regionally, visiting the Bay Area through 2005, the Northwest through 2007, and Southern California through 2009.