March 4, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team travels to the 2008 West Coast Conference tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face the University of San Francisco on Thursday, March 6 at Noon. The tournament will be held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the campus of the University of San Diego.
SCU brought the regular season to a close Saturday afternoon with a 76-62 victory over Portland on Senior Day. The Broncos split the week's contests with an 80-71 loss to top-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday. Leading the way for the Broncos against the Pilots were senior Tracey Walker and redshirt junior Sara Majors who registered a game-high 17 points each. Meanwhile, Jen Gottschalk added 13 points and 12 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season, while Elizabeth Doran and Nicole Gall chipped in for a combined 22 points.
The Broncos enter the conference tournament with a 19-10 overall record and an 8-6 WCC record. Gottschalk continues to lead all active players with 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. She is also the team's steals leader. Walker averages 12.3 points per game and is SCU's assists leader.
The Dons enter the WCC Tournament as the No. 7 seed with a 5-9 league record and an overall 14-15 mark.
Three Dons average double-figure points per game. Leading the way is Dominique Carter with 17.9 points per game. Shay Rollins is second on the team with 12.4 points per game and Necolia Simmons rounds out the top three with 11.2 points per game and leads the rebounding efforts with 7.3 boards pre game.
The Broncos and Dons split regular season play as each team won on their respective home courts. In late January, SCU posted a 57-50 victory at the Leavey Center with Gottschalk registering 16 points and 12 rebounds. In late February, the Dons defeated the Broncos 88-73, with Walker leading the Broncos with 21 points.
Santa Clara and USF will meet for the 46th time on Thursday in a series that dates back to the 1964-65 season. The Broncos own a 42-33 all-time record over the Dons.
Santa Clara has faced USF in the tournament five times, three of which were in the first round. The Broncos are 5-0 in postseason play against the Dons. The two teams last played each other in the WCC Tournament in 2006, when the Broncos defeated the Dons 75-65 in overtime to advance to the championship game.
Every live moment of Santa Clara women's basketball at the 2008 WCC Championship will be covered live via the official athletic website at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Live audio broadcasts will feature play-by-play from Grant McHill and interviews with the coaches and players, along with a halftime recap by senior guard Chandice Cronk.
The Broncos carry a 19-13 all-time record in WCC Tournament play. Santa Clara has claimed three WCC Tournament titles, tied for most among conference teams along with Pepperdine and San Francisco. Santa Clara holds or shares 13 individual and 15 team records in WCC Tournament play, and broke 15 records alone in its 2005 championship run. The Broncos had four players take home Tournament MVP honors, as Melissa King was named MVP in the first WCC Tournament in 1992, Lisa Sacco took home the honor in 1998, Kendra Rhea was named MVP in 2003, and Michelle Cozad earned the honor in 2005.
Cronk and Gottschalk received All-West Coast Conference accolades for their performance this season, it was announced Monday. Cronk received her third all-league honor, while Gottschalk earned her second honor from the WCC
Cronk averaged a team-best 17.1 points per game in her senior season and led the Broncos with a .406 three-point field goal percentage. She also was 44.4 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the foul line. Despite missing the second half of league play, Cronk remained ranked fourth overall in the WCC in scoring and second in three-point field goals made through the final week of the regular season.
Gottschalk averages 17.5 points per game and a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. She also leads the team with 53 steals and in shooting from the field (.483). Gottschalk is also 30.6 percent from beyond the arc. In conference games only, she averaged 15.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, just shy of a season double-double. Gottschalk is ranked sixth in scoring and fifth in rebounding overall in the WCC. She also ranked in field goal percentage (No. 8), steals (No. 7), 3FG percentage (No. 14), 3FG made (No. 15) and blocked shots (No. 12).
With the regular season complete, it's time to see where the Broncos rank in single season categories. All-time records can be found on page six of the notes.
Gottschalk joins four single season categories going into this week. She ranks 10th in points, seventh in rebounds, 10th in rebounding average and ninth in field goals. Cronk's scoring average (17.1) claims the No. 8 spot on the single season list, while Doran's free throw percentage (.892) is currently atop the single season list. Walker is 11 assists and eight steals shy of entering the single season lists, while Gottschalk is six steals shy of the annual list.