Bronco Women Face Saint Mary's For First Time Thursday

Feb. 8, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rivalry Week comes to the Mission Campus this week as the Santa Clara women's basketball team looks to extend its season-best six-game winning streak as it welcomes the Saint Mary's Gaels to the Leavey Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off Thursday night.

The Broncos (13-9, 7-2 WCC) sit alone in second place in the conference after their 74-52 rout of the Gonzaga Bulldogs last Thursday followed by a 67-58 win over Portland Saturday afternoon. Since a 1-2 start to conference play, SCU has won six in a row to match its best winning streak since the 2001-02 season. The six-game conference winning streak is also the team's longest since a seven-game run in the 1999-2000 campaign.

As a team, Santa Clara still leads the conference in scoring (74.3 ppg) and all major shooting categories. The Broncos shoot a conference-best 43.0% from the floor, 39.1% from behind the arc and 75.8% from the free-throw line.

The conference office announced this past Monday that senior guard Michelle Cozad had won the WCC Player of the Week award for the sixth time this season. The Stockton native leads the WCC with 18.0 points a game and 55 three-pointers made. She is also second in the conference in rebounding with 9.4 boards a game and in steals with 52 and 2.36 a game.

Fellow guard Chandice Cronk leads the conference in three-point shooting percentage, nailing 45.5% of her attempts. Forward Kasey Monteith has also been a crucial contributor to the Broncos' success, turning in a pair of double-doubles in conference play and shooting 54.6% from the floor this season.

Santa Clara will get their first look at the Saint Mary's Gaels (10-12, 5-4 WCC) this Thursday night at the Leavey Center. The Gaels are led by the 12.4 points a game of freshman Jontelle Smith and sit only two games behind the Broncos for second in the WCC.

"A large part of their personnel is different, but they have great balance with their inside and outside game," Santa Clara head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said of Saint Mary's. "I actually think the matchups are going to be quite interesting this game. There are similarities between these two teams and as always I think we just have to make sure that our half-court defense is efficient."

Tickets for Thursday's game are available by calling (408) 554-4660 and fans can listen to the action live on Broncos All-Acces with Anthony Passarelli handling the play-by-play duties. Fans may also follow the action and stats live on Gametracker on santaclarabroncos.com.