SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara's Lena Gipson has not only become one of the best rebounders in Bronco history but the senior from Hanford, California ranks No. 10 among all NCAA players this season, averaging 11.4 per game.
"A lot of planning and calculating," says Gipson, who at 6-foot tall is rarely the biggest player on the court. "I think a lot of basketball is mental. Being aware of what is going on in the play; reading your teammates and the opponents in the flow of the game. I know when the three-point shooters are going to shoot. I look at that a lot to get early position and push some of the bigger players out further."
"Then when you block out, not just going halfway but really going for it. Clearing people out, giving yourself some space and attacking the ball hard."
Spanning 46-years of women's basketball at Santa Clara, Gipson has needed just two-plus seasons to rank second all-time with 786. In a recent victory over Pacific on December 16, Gipson had 22 – just one shy of a school record. She was named the West Coast Conference 'Player of the Week.'
Additionally, Gipson has posted 43 double-doubles (points-rebounds), including seven this season, which is 11th-best in the country.
"She is athletic, has a knack for pursuing the ball and is extremely strong," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "When she gets her hands around the ball, nobody is going to take it away from her. She does such a great job rebounding the basketball for us … it also allows her to generate more chances to score offensively."
Gipson and the Broncos begin West Coast Conference play this weekend, playing at San Francisco on Saturday, January 8 at 2 p.m.