Dec. 5, 2000
This Week Santa Clara's women's basketball (3-2) remains on the road for the second straight week, but it doesn't have to travel far, as the Broncos will take on East Bay rival California on Sunday. The contest carries special meaning as Bear head coach Caren Horstmeyer joined Cal's staff this spring after 12 years leading the Bronco program. The game will be aired live on Fox Sports Bay Area at 2 p.m.
The Opponent California is 2-4 overall this season, with wins over South Alabama and CS Northridge. The Bears are paced by senior guard Courtney Johnson, who is averaging 13 points per game and 3.3 steals per contest. Head coach Caren Horstmeyer is not only hosting her alma mater when the Broncos visit on Sunday, but also a squad she coach for the past 12 seasons. This will be the 39th meeting between the two teams, with Cal holding a dominating 30-8 edge, despite the fact the Broncos have won three of the last four meetings.
In the Rankings Santa Clara began the season unranked, but does face three ranked opponents on its regular-season schedule, according to the Associated Press and ESPN/USA polls. Santa Clara fell to No. 18 Stanford 85-57 on Nov. 20 and will face 12th-ranked Oregon 54-62 on Dec. 2. To end the year, the Broncos host No. 8 Texas Tech on Dec. 30.
Not in the Rankings Last week, Santa Clara began a stretch where five of the next six games are against team that posted losing records last season. Up first was South Bay rival San Jose State, who went 3-24 in 1999-2000. The Broncos won that one 85-68. After a loss to No. 12 Oregon, the Broncos remain on the road for matches at California, Cal Poly and Sacramento State. Not including the Ducks, who went 23-8 last season, the combined record of the other five teams is 36-101.
Senior Center Annie Garrison A two-time unanimous All-WCC performer, Annie Garrison is the team's captain for the second straight year. Garrison made her mark in Santa Clara's recordbooks early, setting the career total for shots blocked during her sophomore season. She currently has 170 blocks, doubling second-place Christine Rigby's 83 blocks from 1996-98. Garrison could also possibly finish her career as one of the all-time best field goal percentage shooters and rebounders in Santa Clara annals. And entering the season with 785 points, could become only the 12th Bronco all time to surpass the 1,000-point mark. She's currently at 853. A leader off the court as well, Garrison carries a 3.74 in mathematics and is a pre-season favorite for All-Academic honors.
Rhea of Light for Broncos Sophomore forward Kendra Rhea put on a show last week at San Jose State, posting a career-high 19 points, making nine of 13. She's currently third on the team in shooting average, at 9.2 per game. She's also pulled down 20 rebounds, or about four per contest. Rhea has started three games this season, after appearing in 17 as a freshman, averaging 2.3 points per game.
Rebounding Connection Seniors Annie Garrison and Jen Glysson combined for 27 rebounds in the team's season-opening victory over Pacific, one more than the Tigers' entire roster. After five games, Garrison is leading the team with 9.4 boards per game, with Glysson right behind her with a 9.0 average.
Behind the Arc Santa Clara drilled seven three-point baskets in its opening-night victory against Pacific. Senior Kim Sorenson posted four of those, finishing the night with 14 points. Junior Caroline Gruening added two treys, while junior Becki Ashbaugh recorded the final one. Making 7 of 16, the Broncos finished the game shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc. Gruening had a stellar showing at 12th-ranked Oregon over the weekend, making five three-pointers en route to a career-high 19 points.
Assist Production The Broncos are averaging 16.6 assists per game, three more than their opponents five games into the season. Becki Ashbaugh leads all guards with 37 this season, with a career-high 13 assists against 12th-ranked Oregon last weekend.