December 29, 2003

Women's Basketball Closes Calendar Year vs. Alabama

Dec. 29, 2003

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Today
Santa Clara and Alabama will close the calendar year with a contest against each other this afternoon at the Leavey Center. The game will also end a four-game homestand for the Broncos, who are currently 3-7 on the year. The Crimson Tide is 7-3 and will be playing their fourth-straight road contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Scouting the Alabama Crimson Tide
Series Record: First Meeting
Alabama Record in 2002-03: 13-15 (3-11)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 6/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/2

Home Struggles
After a perfect 12-0 season at the Leavey Center in 2001-02, Santa Clara's six home losses to open the 2003-04 season are not being taken lightly. Defeats to UW-Green Bay, No. 10 Georgia and BYU mark the first time the Broncos have lost three home games to start the season since 1977-78, when SCU finished 4-20. Santa Clara went 0-3 at home to open the year before winning three straight road contests. This season's tough home schedule has also seen defeats to Oregon, Oklahoma State in overtime, and Bay Area rival San Jose State.

Road Success
Santa Clara was 3-0 in away contests to open the season for the first time in five years. The Broncos defeated Fresno State, San Jose State and Denver to open the 1998-99 season. After a December 13 loss to Fresno State, SCU is 3-1 on the road and will return to traveling next week, when the team visits Texas-San Antonio and San Diego State to close out the non-conference season.

Season's Slow Start an Anomaly
The Broncos' current 3-5 start to the season has not been seen the Santa Clara program in 15 years, dating back to the 1988-89 season, when SCU was 2-6 in its first eight games. In fact, in six of those last 15 seasons, the Broncos have started 3-0.

A Look Ahead: Non-Conference Season Comes to a Close
The Broncos will close the non-conference season on the road with a Jan. 4 game at UT-San Antonio and a Jan. 6 contest at San Diego State.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in three-point field goals made per game (6.2), while ranking second in three-point field goal percent defense (.294) and defensive rebounds per game (24.80). The Broncos are third in scoring offense (64.6) and three-point field goal percentage (.315). Individually, Michelle Cozad leads the league in scoring (17.3), while Whitney Sutak is fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.414), eighth in three-point field goals made (1.2), 10th in scoring (11.2) and 13th in field goal percentage (.454). Three freshmen are also making themselves known to the league. Ashley Gonnerman is ranked fourth in free throw percentage (.828), eighth in blocked shots (0.8), ninth in rebounding (6.1) and 19th in scoring (8.5). Anna Martin is listed second in three-point field goal percentage (.476), while Ashley Graham is fourth in three-point field goals made (1.3), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.333) and 13th in assists (2.7).

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.