Women's Basketball Returns Home vs. USF, SMC

Jan. 20, 2004

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This Week
After a five-game road trip, Santa Clara returns to the Leavey Center and will open up conference play looking for its first home victory of the season. The Broncos have history on its side, as SCU has won seven straight conference home openers. The Broncos faced San Francisco in the league opener and will go for the series sweep just 12 days after earning a one-point victory on the Hilltop. Santa Clara will remain at home and host Saint Mary's for a Sunday game that will tip-off at 1 p.m., with live coverage by Fox Sports Bay Area. Mary Murphy and Krista Blunk will call the game.

Scouting the San Francisco Dons
Series Record: SCU leads 33-30
First Game: Santa Clara won (47-23) in 1964-65
Last Game: Santa Clara won (49-48) on Jan. 10, 2004 in San Francisco
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 is 0-3 to start the WCC season and has yet to record a victory in January... additionally, the Dons are 0-5 on the road... USF has won only once at the Leavey Center since 1997, after recording a two-point victory over SCU last year.

Scouting the Saint Mary's Gaels
Series Record: SCU leads 27-16
First Game: Santa Clara won (75-32) on Jan. 6, 1979 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won (73-68) on Feb. 22, 2003 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 43 on Jan. 6, 1979 (75-32) in Santa Clara
Largest SMC Margin of Victory: 26 on Jan. 20, 1989 (90-64) in Moraga
Saint Mary's Record in 2002-03: 11-17 (4-10)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/6
Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3
Notable: Saint Mary's is leading the WCC race early on with a perfect 3-0 record and will face San Diego on Thursday before visiting the Broncos... the Gaels have won four straight and six of their last seven... junior forward Triola Jackson was named the WCC Player of the Week last week, after averaging a double double (19.5 ppg, 10 rpg) and a .704 clip.

A Battle of Youth
Although the Broncos have used six different starting lineups, the most frequent combination includes four freshmen. Sunday's contest against Saint Mary's will see a similar lineup across the court, as the Gaels have been starting three newcomers in their opening lineup.

Unbeatable at Leavey vs. the WCC
The Broncos have won 38 of its last 42 regular season home league contests played in Leavey, dating back to the last six seasons.

Home Struggles
After a perfect 12-0 season at the Leavey Center in 2001-02, Santa Clara's seven home losses to open the 2003-04 season are not being taken lightly. Defeats to UW-Green Bay, No. 10 Georgia and BYU marked the first time the Broncos had lost three home games to start the season since 1977-78, when SCU finished 4-20. This season's tough home schedule has also seen defeats to Oregon, Oklahoma State in overtime, Bay Area rival San Jose State and Alabama. In the 25 seasons the program has been playing at the Leavey Center, the women have only lost seven home games seven times, last seen during the 1995-96 campaign, when the Broncos went 6-8 at home.

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 5-4 on the road and is one of two conference schools with a winning road record, joining LMU.

Conference Openers
Santa Clara's victory over San Francisco marked the fifth straight West Coast Conference opener the Broncos have won. Regarding home league openers, SCU has won seven straight.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in three-point field goals made per game (6.69) and three-point field goal percentage (.347), while ranking second in three-point field goal defense (.317) and third in field goal percentage (.405). Individually, Ashley Graham leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.464), and is second in three-point field goals made (2.0) and 10th in assists (3.06). Quinn Thomas is fourth in three-point field goals made (1.67). Whitney Sutak is fourth in three-point field goal percent (.412). Ashley Gonnerman is ranked seventh in free throw percentage (.750) and 11th in rebounding (5.3). Jennie Rondel is 11th in scoring (10.2).

A Look Ahead: Broncos Return to the Road
Santa Clara will continue the West Coast Conference season, returning to the road to visit the Northwest. Gonzaga will be the team's opponent on Thursday, followed by a Saturday contest at Portland.

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 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.