SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's basketball 2011-12 schedule was announced today and it includes 15 home games. The Broncos are set to begin the year by playing five of six on their home floor at the Leavey Center, opening the season Friday, November 11 against Cal State Bakersfield.
Under Head Coach Jennifer Mountain, SCU and the rest of the West Coast Conference (WCC) will play a new-look 16-game league schedule, now that Brigham Young University has officially joined the WCC ranks for 2011-12. The regular season leads up to the WCC tournament, which will once again be held in Las Vegas, March 1-5.
"I think our preseason schedule is set up pretty well," said Mountain. "We have the opportunity to be successful early. I really like the fact we are home for the majority of November. That is much different, and in fact, totally opposite from how we started last year. Other than being at Fresno State (Nov. 13), the entire month of November we are home. I think that is going to help with our confidence level and help us get off to a good start. That is really important to us."
As mentioned, the Broncos open the regular season on Friday, November 11 with a non-conference home game against Cal State Bakersfield. SCU will play all its home games at the Leavey Center on the Santa Clara campus, debuting with an exhibition on Tuesday, November 8 against Sonoma State University.
A four-game homestand dominates the month of November. Northern Colorado University (Nov. 16), the University of Southern Utah (Nov. 18), Long Beach State University (Nov. 21) and UC Davis (Nov. 28) all pay an early-season visit to the South Bay.
The Broncos will also have the advantage of playing each of their first three WCC games at home. Due to the addition of BYU, the conference schedule begins earlier than it has in the past, with Pepperdine University (Dec. 31), the University of Portland (Jan. 5) and the University of San Diego (Jan. 9) coming to the Leavey Center to initiate the Broncos' league schedule.
"The (WCC schedule) is totally different," said Mountain. "Instead of staying put and preparing on Friday nights for a Saturday game, you will be traveling most Fridays. Other than the Northwest trip, we are back-and-forth most weekends, which will be a change. It will be a quick turnaround."
The bulk of SCU's WCC home schedule will be played in the month of January and early February. After opening up with three-straight WCC games, the Broncos will be on the road for much of that span. The most difficult stretch of games may come when the team plays five of seven WCC games on the road from Jan. 14 through Feb. 4, with the lone home games coming against perennial NCAA Tournament qualifier Gonzaga University (Jan. 19) and league newcomer BYU (Jan. 28).
"The group we have is extremely focused," added Mountain. "We are in a really good place, with our mindset in the right spot. Our players are chomping at the bit to get back to work and to prove to people that we are going to keep going in the right direction. We started out slow last year but finished strong, finishing fourth. That gave them a lot of confidence and being at home early in the year will be huge for them."
Practice officially begins Monday, October 3!
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Tickets are available for purchase online at SantaClaraBroncos.com/buytickets or by calling the ticket office directly at 408-554-4660.