Top Teams in Big West Next for Bronco Women

Meagan Fulps (widgic.com)

Game Notes in PDF Format

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
Santa Clara will play its final two games of the calendar year on the road against the projected top two teams in the Big West Conference, first at UC Davis Monday, December 27 at 7 p.m., then at Cal Poly SLO Thursday, December 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Game Notes - Week #8 Dec. 26-31, 2010
SANTA CLARA @ UC DAVIS

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 • 7 p.m.
Game #12 • Road Game #7 • Davis, Calif.
Live Audio

SANTA CLARA @ CAL POLY
Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010 • 4:30 p.m.
Game #13 • Road Game #8 • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Live Audio

LIVE COVERAGE

A FREE audio broadcast will be available for both games on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Michael Spero (play-by-play) will provide the audio courtside from Davis and Cal Poly. Additionally, on Thursday, Cal Poly will offer a video broadcast on BigWest.TV.

GAME NOTES

  • Santa Clara is led by third year head coach Jennifer Mountain
  • The Broncos have won 2 of 3, recently beating Seattle 63-60 and Pacific 52-47
  • Santa Clara is 2-3 at home and 0-6 on the road
  • Lena Gipson ranks No. 8 in the NCAA in rebounding (12.3 rpg)
  • Sophomore Meagan Fulps is leading the Broncos in scoring (12.4 ppg)
  • SCU is playing its final three non-conference games in preparation for their WCC opener Jan. 8 at USF
  • UCD and Cal Poly are picked to finish No. 1 and No. 2 in the Big West
  • Cal Poly's (4-6) only two home games this season have been against WCC teams
  • The Mustangs lost to LMU at home 77-58 Nov. 19; beat USF 80-55 Dec. 15
  • The Mustangs are allowing 72 points per game
  • Cal Poly's last win over SCU in San Luis Obispo was on Nov. 21, 1980
  • UCD (9-2) has won 14-straight games at home 
  • UCD ranks No. 8 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll
  • The Aggies are 3-0 against WCC teams this season
  • UCD is shooting 43% from the field and 33% from 3-point range
  • UP NEXT: @ San Jose State Sunday, Jan. 2 at 2 p.m.

SANTA CLARA
The Broncos (2-9) improved to 2-3 at home after a recent win over Seattle, 63-60. Sophomore guard and leading-scorer Meagan Fulps scored 21 points in that win over Seattle and backcourt teammate Alyssa Shoji scored 14. SCU began the year by playing 6 of 8 on the road, including trips to Colorado, Bakersfield, South Dakota and Wichita. Three more non-conference games (UCD, Cal Poly & SJSU) preclude the team's WCC opener Saturday, Jan. 8 at USF. Senior power forward Lena Gipson was recently named the WCC Player of the Week after collecting a career-high 22 rebounds in a victory over Pacific on Dec. 16. Gipson leads the WCC in rebounding (12.3 pg) and ranks No. 8 nationally. Gipson had 18 points and 18 rebounds last time out against Oregon – her sixth double-double in seven games. The Broncos scored a season-high 72 points against Oregon. After an 0-8 start, the Broncos can finish the month of December 4-4 with a pair of wins this week.

UC DAVIS
The Aggies (9-2) are perfect at home and are coming off winning 3-of-4 on the road, including beating Wichita State 78-66 and Sacramento State 78-55. The Aggies' only losses this season have been at No. 9 UCLA and at Kansas State. UCD ranks No. 8 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. The Aggies are also 3-0 against WCC teams this season, having beat USF, Pepperdine and St. Mary's. They are playing solid defense, holding opponents to a 26 percent 3-point percentage and allowing just 57.3 points per game. Senior Heidi Heintz was just selected as the Big West Conference Player of the Week, scoring in double-figures for the third straight game in the Aggies' blow-out win over SJSU, 102-62. UCD has won 14-straight at home.
 
SERIES (SCU-UCD)
Santa Clara's series with UC Davis dates back to 1968-69, with the two NorCal schools playing 19 times. UCD owns a 10-9 all-time series edge and a two-game winning streak in the series. UCD won 74-56 last season at the Leavey Center and 62-54 in 2008-09, the last meeting at UCD. Santa Clara's last victory in Davis came during the 1986-87 season, winning 58-55 on Dec. 30, 1986.

CAL POLY
The Mustangs (4-6) will be playing just their third home game of the year when the Broncos visit San Luis Obispo on Thursday. Cal Poly is coming off a 80-45 loss to Pepperdine in Malibu. Longtime head coach Faith Mimnaugh is 163-210 all-time at Cal Poly. Her 2010-11 team is picked to finish second in the Big West Standings behind UC Davis. The Mustangs are allowing 72 points per night, which may help a Santa Clara team that is averaging below 60. Keep an eye on senior guard Rachel Clancy who is scoring a team-high 15.9 points per game and playing 34-plus minutes.

SERIES (SCU-CP)
Santa Clara is 9-3 all-time against Cal Poly. Last season's 63-55 Mustang victory at the Leavey Center marked the first time Cal Poly has beat Santa Clara since 1981-82. The last game at Cal Poly resulted in a 79-72 SCU victory on Dec. 12, 2007. SCU has won five-straight at Cal Poly dating back to the early 80's. The last Cal Poly win over SCU in San Luis Obispo was on Nov. 21, 1980. 

HEAD COACH JENNIFER MOUNTAIN
'JMO' became the eighth Santa Clara head women's basketball coach in April 2008. She came to the Mission Campus after serving seven seasons as the top assistant coach at Gonzaga, where she helped the Bulldogs to four-straight WCC regular season championships and one tournament crown. Her Santa Clara team ended the 2009-10 season in grand fashion at the 2010 WCC tournament in Las Vegas, winning twice to become the first No. 8 seed in tournament history to advance into the semifinals. It was the second-straight year Mountain's teams peaked when it mattered most. In her first year at Santa Clara, Mountain guided the Broncos into the WCC tournament quarterfinals. "Jen understands what Santa Clara is all about," said SCU Athletic Director Dan Coonan. "It's about competitive basketball but it's about so much more than that. Educating men and women for competence, conscience, and compassion -- that's what Santa Clara really stands for. We believe that and live that here. I think Jen is the perfect person who embodies those kinds of values."

The Jen Mountain File:
• Head Coach - Santa Clara University (2008-pres.)
• Assistant Coach- Gonzaga University (2001-08)
• Boys Head Coach - St. George's School (1994-2001)
• Amateur Player - Gonzaga University (1987-91)

LAST TIME OUT
The Ducks, who rank fifth nationally in scoring offense, ran past the Broncos 99-72 in women's basketball action at Santa Clara's Leavey Center on Tuesday night. Oregon's full-court press forced Santa Clara into 32 turnovers and the Pac-10's leading scorer Amanda Johnson had 15 points in the first nine minutes, opening the game by making 6 of 7 shots, including three 3s. Johnson finished with a team-high 27 points for the Ducks (9-2), who entered the game averaging 87.4 points per night. Johnson's shooting allowed Oregon to surge ahead 28-14 after the opening 10 minutes. Lena Gipson, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, had 18 points and 18 rebounds to post her sixth double-double in seven games for the Broncos (2-9). Gipson made 12 free throws, a new career-high.

WCC STANDINGS (Dec. 23)
Gonzaga (10-3)
San Diego (8-3)
Portland  (9-4)
Pepperdine (7-5)
St. Mary's (7-7)
Loyola Marymount (5-7)
Santa Clara (2-9)
San Francisco (2-10)

LENA GIPSON NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Santa Clara University senior power forward Lena Gipson was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday, Dec. 20. Gipson had 22 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with just over one minute left to lift Santa Clara past Pacific Thursday night at the Leavey Center, 52-47. Her 22 rebounds was one shy of a Santa Clara school record. The senior from Hanford, Calif. leads the WCC in rebounding and ranks among the nation's leaders. It was her third 20-rebound game of her Bronco careerShe also had 11 points Thursday to record her fifth-straight double-double.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SHINES DURING ACADEMIC FINALS
Student-athletes at Santa Clara University have a reputation for excellence on and off the playing field, but one group in particular has truly raised the bar in academics: the Bronco women's basketball team. With a collective GPA over 3.3, it's clear that the women of SCU basketball are focused and determined in their academic pursuits and with finals just wrapping up, we wanted to know just how they do it. Click here for the full article.

ESPN RANKS SCU RECRUITING CLASS AMONG NATION'S BEST
Next year's incoming class for the Santa Clara University women's basketball program has been ranked No. 56 nationally by ESPN HoopGurlz. The Broncos and third-year head coach Jennifer Mountain announced the signing of four outstanding high school players during November's early signing period last week:

Nici Gilday of San Jose, Calif. (Presentation HS)
Vanessa Leo of San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Colleen Rooney of Centennial, Colo. (Regis Jesuit HS)
Tyler Woods of Corona, Calif. (Centennial Corona HS)

"All four of our future Broncos fit the mold of what Santa Clara is all about.  They are extremely bright young women who value education and grasp what it means to be a Bronco both on and off the court.  They are great role models and will represent Santa Clara with respect and class at all times.  I am very excited about them joining us next year and having the chance to coach them," said Mountain.

LENA GIPSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC
Lena Gipson was named to the 2010-11 West Coast Conference Preseason All-Conference Team. Gipson, a senior power forward from Hanford, Calif., is one of the most prolific rebounders in Santa Clara University history. She was one of ten players recognized on the team, which was released along with the preseason coaches' poll. Santa Clara was picked to finish seventh in the eight-team league. Gipson was named an All-WCC First Team player last season after averaging a double-double (12.6 ppg/10.0 rpg) and collecting 16 double-doubles on the year, which ranked No. 23 among all NCAA players.

DID WE MENTION IT'S FREE?

In conjunction with the West Coast Conference, fans can watch a three-camera broadcast for every basketball home game and all conference road games this season FREE of charge on SCU's official athletics website (SantaClaraBroncos.com). Additionally, Santa Clara's Michael Spero (play-by-play) will call selected non-conference road games, also FREE.

SANTA CLARA WOMEN'S HOOPS ON YOUTUBE!

Check out the latest videos and features on the Broncos on the team's official YouTube page (youtube.com/scuwbb).

WCC TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO VEGAS

The West Coast Conference will return to Las Vegas in 2011 for the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships on March 4-7. In July 2009, the WCC and Orleans Arena announced a three-year contract extension that would keep the Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena through 2012. The 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships was another successful tournament, selling out for the second consecutive year. This year's tournament will feature the same format as the previous two years, with a combined total of 14 men's and women's games over four days. Tickets for the event are now on-sale.