Women's Hoops Opens WCC Season at USF

Jan. 8, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

This Week
Santa Clara ended the non-conference season on Tuesday with an exciting two-point victory at San Diego State, and plan on taking that winning momentum into the West Coast Conference season, which kicks off for the Broncos on Saturday night. Santa Clara will visit Bay Area rival San Francisco, for a 7 p.m. tip-off at War Memorial Gymnasium.

Scouting the San Francisco Dons
Series Record: SCU leads 32-30
First Game: Santa Clara won (47-23) in 1964-65
Last Game: San Francisco won (69-67) on Feb. 20, 2003 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 27, on Feb. 3, 1999 (91-64) in San Francisco
Largest USF Margin of Victory: 37 on Dec. 1, 1979 (74-37) in San Francisco
San Francisco Record in 2002-03: 12-17 (7-7)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/1
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/0
Notable: San Francisco finished the non-conference season with a 7-6 record, earning all seven victories at home, where the Dons boast a 7-1 mark... Mary Jane Krueger (8.2 rpg) and Toni Russell (2.85 spg) lead the league in rebounding and steals, respectively... Krueger also leads the conference with four double-doubles on the season... like SCU, San Francisco also suffered losses to San Jose State and BYU so far this season.

WCC Coaches Set Predictions in Preseason Poll
Pepperdine was selected as the preseason favorites in the 2003-04 WCC women's basketball poll, as selected by the league coaches. The Waves, who received six first place votes, will be seeking their third straight regular season and WCC tournament titles. Should the Waves win both the regular season and conference tournament, they would become the first team in WCC women's basketball history to sweep both crowns in three consecutive years. Coming in at second is Gonzaga, who received two first-place votes. Loyola Marymount and San Francisco are followed by Santa Clara. Rounding out this year's poll is San Diego, Portland and Saint Mary's.

Thomas Lights Up Court on Birthday
Junior guard Quinn Thomas celebrated her 21st birthday on the court against San Diego State. The team found itself down 18 points in the second half, but a Bronco run, capped by a Thomas three, erased the deficit and gave SCU a 60-59 lead. Later, again, with the Broncos' down, Thomas would hit a baseline three with 18.3 seconds on the clock, which served to be the game-winner.

The gift of victory isn't the first for this Capricorn. Last season, the Broncos played TCU on her special day, and saw a 23-point, 5-rebound performance to lead the Broncos.

Broncos Snap Six-Game Losing Streak
Santa Clara's win at San Diego State snapped a six-game losing streak for the Broncos, the most since a seven-game losing skid during the 1989-90 conference season.

Road Success
On the other hand, Santa Clara was 3-0 in away contests to open the season for the first time in five years, topping Pacific, Sacramento State and Nevada. The last time this happened, the Broncos defeated Fresno State, San Jose State and Denver to open the 1998-99 season. SCU is now 4-2 on the road and will continue its current travels with three away WCC games, starting with San Francisco this weekend.

A Look Ahead: More Road WCC Contests
The Broncos will remain on the road next weekend and face Pepperdine and league-leading LMU before returning to the Leavey Center.

Non-Conference Season Comes to a Close
Santa Clara closed its non-conference schedule with a 4-9 mark, the program's first losing record in the last 14 years, dating back to a 4-8 non-conference mark during the 1989-90 season. Prior to this season, the Broncos had posted 13 straight non-losing non-conference seasons and was 115-47 (.710) during that span. Santa Clara's most successful non-conference season ever came during the 1990-91 season when the Broncos went 12-2.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in three-point field goals made per game (6.5), while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage (.332) and third in scoring offense (63.2). Individually, Anna Martin leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.500) while Quinn Thomas is second in three-point field goals made (1.88). Ashley Graham is fifth in that same category, while also ranking fifth with her accuracy, shooting .380 from behind the arc. She is also eighth in steals (3.08). Whitney Sutak is fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.400), 11th in field goal percentage (.441) and 12th in scoring (10.4). Ashley Gonnerman is ranked fifth in free throw percentage (.800) and 10th in rebounding (5.9).

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 third season.

More Media Coverage
The Broncos are scheduled to make one TV appearance this season during the WCC season. Santa Clara will host Saint Mary's for a Sunday, January 25 game that will tip-off at 1 p.m., with live coverage by Fox Sports Bay Area. Additionally, the University's student radio station, KSCU 103.3 FM, is scheduled to air the entire women's home WCC schedule.

WCC Championship Coming to SCU in 2004
The WCC Men's and Women's Championships will return to the Bay Area in 2004 and 2005, as announced Wednesday by Commissioner Michael Gilleran. The change is a result of the WCC's decision to rotate the league's premier event between the Bay Area, Pacific Northwest and Southern California, each for a period of two consecutive years.

The 2006 and 2007 tournament will move to the Pacific Northwest before heading to Southern California in 2008 and 2009.

The 2004 WCC Basketball Tournament will be held at the Leavey Center. In 2005, the event will move approximately 50 miles north to the University of San Francisco, where games will be played at War Memorial Gymnasium. This will be Santa Clara's eighth time as host, most recently in 2000, while USF will serve as host for the fourth time.