Dec. 15, 2009
SANTA CLARA (2-7) @ MINNESOTA (7-4)
Wednesday, December 16 - 5 p.m. PT
Williams Arena (14,625) - Minneapolis, MN
SANTA CLARA @ BOISE STATE (8-3)
Saturday, December 19 - 12 p.m. PT
Taco Bell Arena (12,400) - Boise, ID
GAMES #10/11: Santa Clara leaves the Bay Area for colder weather, playing the Golden Gophers of Minnesota Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, then meeting Boise State at the Taco Bell Arena Saturday at 12 p.m. PT.
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Minnesota will be offering a free audio broadcast of Wednesday night's game on its official athletics website (GopherSports.com). Fans can follow Saturday's game live via Boise State's official athletics website (BroncoSports.com). Free live stats will be available. A live audio/video broadcast can be purchased for $9.95.
# Jennifer Mountain is in her second season as Santa Clara head coach
# SCU is in the midst of playing 7-of-9 away from home
# The Broncos won at Pacific 74-69 Sunday after losing 2-straight at the buzzer
# All-WCC power forward Lena Gipson has 24 career double-doubles in 40 games
# Gipson's 20 rebounds vs. CSU Bakersfield last week matched a career-high
# Gipson led the WCC in rebounding from start-to-finish last season
# PG Alyssa Shoji is the top 3-point shooter in the WCC (2.7 3FG pg)
# Shoji has emerged as the team's most consistent scorer (14.2 ppg)
# Freshman SG Meagan Fulps has scored 24 and 20 in the past two games
# Fulps (10.7 ppg) is top freshman scorer in the WCC
# Freshman G Ashley Armstrong (5.9 rpg) leads all WCC freshmen in rebounding
# Former SCU assistant coach Leigh Gregory is now coaching at Minnesota
# The Golden Gophers beat SCU 70-45 last season in Santa Clara
# Minnesota is off to a 6-1 start at home after an NCAA Tournament season in 08-09
# Boise State won a low-scoring 57-51 game against SCU a year ago
# BSU has a full-week off prior to hosting SCU on Saturday
# NCAA rankings: Lena Gipson #32 (9.8 rpg)/Alyssa Shoji #38 (2.7 3FG pg)
# Santa Clara prides itself on its community service activities and academic excellence.
...The team currently owns a 3.41 combined GPA.
# Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and SCU alumn Kurt Rambis met the team Tuesday night in Minneapolis
# LOOKING AHEAD: The Broncos host Cal Poly Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.
SANTA CLARA: Coming off a road win Sunday at Pacific, the Broncos have reason to be optimistic, playing well and averaging 72 points in their last three games. Second-year head coach Jennifer Mountain has brought in the WCC's top scoring freshman in Meagan Fulps (10.7 ppg) and top freshman rebounder Ashley Armstrong (5.9 rpg). The newcomers add to a lineup that already included All-WCC power forward Lena Gipson, high-scoring sophomore point guard Alyssa Shoji and senior forward Maggie Goldenberger. The trips to Minnesota and Boise are part of a 9-game stretch in which the team is playing 7 road games. Mountain - who helped build her alma mater Gonzaga into one of the nation's best teams - is trying to retool a Broncos' program that went 4-27 last season.
MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers return 10 players from a team that went 20-12 last season and advanced into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 8th-year head coach Pam Borton added former Santa Clara assistant coach Leigh Gregory to her staff during the offseason. Minnesota is off to a 6-1 start on its home floor in the Williams Arena. The Gophers opened its current homestand with a 56-48 conference win over Penn State, then crushed Idaho State 79-44. The team receives balanced scoring. Led by Kiara Buford's 14.3 ppg, Minnesota is averaging 67 points per night.
BOISE STATE: The Broncos are off to a hot start, winning their first 7 games - which included 3 on the road. Boise State was 16-15 last season and 9-7 within the WAC. 48 percent of the team's 73 points per game comes from guards Jessica Van Hoogen (17.5 ppg) and Tasha Harris (17.3 ppg). Despite a combined 46 points from the duo, Boise lost 83-72 at St. Mary's last Saturday. The Broncos have the week off, prior to hosting Santa Clara, a game that initiates a four-game homestand with other games against Wyoming, Seattle and their WAC opener versus New Mexico State.
THE SERIES: Santa Clara was just 1-for-10 from 3-point range in last season's 70-45 loss to Minnesota. In four previous meetings, SCU has never beaten the Gophers. They first played in 1992-93, with SCU losing an 82-80 decision in Santa Clara. The lone meeting at UM came in 2001-02, a 19-point Gopher victory. Saturday's meeting marks the fourth-straight year Santa Clara will play Boise State. SCU leads the all-time series 4-2. BSU snapped a three-game losing-streak against SCU with a 57-51 win last season at the Leavey Center.
QUOTABLE: "We have been in so many close games like this," said Lena Gipson after SCU's last-second loss to CSU Baskersfield. "It's frustrating because we know we can turn the corner, win close games. We are right there we just need to reach out and take it."
LAST TIME OUT: Santa Clara freshman guard Meagan Fulps scored 24 points to lead an inspired SCU team to a 74-69 road win at Pacific Sunday. Fulps sparked a second-half run and Lena Gipson provided her fifth double-double for Santa Clara (2-7), who had lost a 12-point first-half lead. "She's an offensive threat every time she touches the ball," Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain said about Fulps, Colorado's 5A `Player of the Year' last season. "She's also getting more comfortable having that role of a scorer. You can really see her developing as a player." Fulps - who scored a season-high 20 points Friday night against Cal State Bakersfield - made one of her three 3s to put SCU up 56-51 with 7:39 left. The Tigers (1-7) received a team-high 15 points from Kendall Rodriguez, 13 in the first half, to help Pacific rally from an early deficit. SCU had 15 offensive rebounds, five from Gipson who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Maggie Goldenberger also cleared 10 rebounds to go along with her 10 points. Point guard Alyssa Shoji made a pair of timely 3s in the later stages and had 17 - the ninth time in as many games this season she has scored in double figures.
RECENT RESULTS/UPCOMING GAMES:
L, 76-54 - UC DAVIS (12/3)
L, 69-66 - SOUTH DAKOTA (12/6)
L, 78-76 - CSU BAKERSFIELD (12/11)
W, 74-69 @ Pacific (12/13)
@ Minnesota (12/16)
@ Boise State (12/19)
CAL POLY (12/22)
NEXT HOME GAME: Santa Clara will host Cal Poly SLO Tuesday, December 22 at 5 p.m. Tuesday is `Public Safety Department Night.' Officers will be setting up a D.A.R.E booth and vehicles will be on display outside the Leavey Center.
TICKETS: The SCU athletics department is offering a series of ticket specials for the 14-game home schedule. Season ticket packages start at just $50 for adults and $25 for youth and seniors. Season ticket reserved seating is new for 2009-10 and is being offered at the low price of $75 for the entire season. To purchase tickets or for more information contact 408-554-4660.