Nov. 11, 2003
Exhibition Warm-Up Continues
The 2003-04 Santa Clara University women's basketball team will play a second exhibition game on Wednesday at the Leavey Center, hosting Team Concept. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
A Fountain of Youth
Santa Clara is one of the top 15 youngest women's basketball teams that will take the court this season. With six freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors, the Broncos' average age is 19.4 years heading into the 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. Pepperdine returns three starters from last season's squad that finished with a 22-8 record and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.
Coming in at second is Gonzaga, who received two first place votes. The Bulldogs return four starters from last season's 18-12 team. Following the Zags is Loyola Marymount and San Francisco in third and fourth, respectively.
The Lady Dons are followed by Bay Area rival Santa Clara. The Broncos will look to their backcourt to lead them this season with the return of all-WCC junior guards Kayla Huss and Quinn Thomas. Rounding out this year's poll is San Diego, Portland and Saint Mary's.
In the Rankings
The Bronco program is known to play one of the toughest schedules in the country on a regular basis, and this year's line up is no exception. Santa Clara will open its season hosting four teams that are mentioned in the preseason USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' Poll. It peaks with 11th-ranked Georgia on November 28, while three other non-conference opponents--UW-Green Bay, BYU and Oregon--are receiving votes. League opponent Pepperdine is also receiving votes.
A Look Ahead: The Season Opener
The Broncos will then open the regular season at home against 2003 NCAA Tournament participant UW-Green Bay on Sunday, November 23 at 2 p.m. Head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson will then take her squad to Stockton for a Tuesday, November 25 game at Pacific, and then return home for a Friday, November 28 contest vs. 11th-ranked Georgia.
With its victory over Lehigh to open the 2002-03 season, Santa Clara has now won its last five season-openers. The Broncos open this season against UW-Green Bay at home, marking the first season opener at the Leavey Center in the last six seasons. A win over the Phoenix will be the 11th season-opening victory for the Broncos in the last 13 years and 25th overall in 40 seasons.
The Broncos should boast one of the best backcourts in the conference with the return of junior guards Kayla Huss and Quinn Thomas. Huss is a first team All-WCC selection who led the league in assists (5.6 pg) last season while averaging 11 points per game. Thomas, an honorable mention All-WCC honoree, paced the Broncos in scoring (11.4 ppg) and three-point field goals made (79). Those 79 threes marked the fourth most in a single season in WCC history. The duo led Santa Clara to the best conference mark in field goal accuracy for the seventh straight season, and the top league listing in assists for the sixth consecutive campaign.
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.
King to be Inducted into SCU Athletics Hall of Fame
Santa Clara University's rich and storied athletic tradition will come alive this fall with the induction of eight deserving members into the institution's Athletic Hall of Fame. The eight new members of the Hall include: Brandi Chastain '91 (soccer); Bill Connolly '65 (baseball); Bill Duffy '82 (basketball); Gary Hoffman '83 (football); Paul Holocher '91 (soccer); Melissa King Fisher '93 (basketball); Gary Podesta (lacrosse); Eric Yamamoto '90 (soccer).
Induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Nov. 19 in the Leavey Center on the SCU campus. Tickets to attend the event are available through the university's Alumni Association by calling 408-554-6800. A pre-event reception will begin at 6 p.m., while the dinner and induction ceremony will start at 7 p.m.
This year's class of inductees brings the total number of members in Santa Clara's Athletic Hall of Fame, which was established in 1962, to 223 individuals and one team which represent the best in the university's athletic heritage.
King Fisher completed her four-year basketball career at Santa Clara as the school's leading scorer and the third-highest scorer in West Coast Conference history. She remains at the top of the school charts for scoring, field goals, three-point field goals, free throws and steals. A three-time all-WCC selection, she led the Broncos to three-straight WCC Championships and the National Women's Invitational Tournament title in 1991. She was named Kodak honorable mention All-America as a senior.