December 18, 2001

Women's Hoops Return Home and Host Temple, Portland State

Dec. 18, 2001

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This Week
The Broncos open a three-game homestand to close out the 2001 calendar year. SCU will host Temple on Wednesday, Dec. 19 and Portland State two days later. Both contests will begin at 7 p.m. Santa Clara returns from the holiday break with a 2 p.m. contest on Dec. 29 against CS Northridge, a preview to the men's Cable Car Classic later that evening at the Leavey Center.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's contests this week against Temple and Portland State can be heard on a live Internet audio broadcast on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, all home contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on Santa Clara's official athletic website. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer allowing users to listen to the audio broadcast and keep up with the statistics simultaneously. The features were introduced midway through last season and have been enjoyed for the team's entire regular season home schedule. Anthony Passarelli begins his first season as the voice of the Broncos.

Annas Named WCC Player of the Week
Tammy Annas was named the West Coast Conference's Women's Basketball Player of the Week for her play in two victories at regional opponent Pacific and Fresno State last week. Annas went 13-24 from the field for a .542 percentage, including 4-7 (.571) from three-point range. She made all three of her free throws and averaged 16.5 points per contest. The starting forward also pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Bronco defensive effort. Against Pacific, she posted 16 points and against Fresno State, she scored 17, 10 of which came in the game's first 10 minutes.

Broncos Continue Tradition of Strong Start
With its current 7-2 record, Santa Clara has started the season as strong as it has the past four years. It hasn't been since the 1996-97 season that the Broncos were anything less after nine games, going 6-3. SCU was 7-2 the following year, opening the season with two losses before stringing together five straight wins. Santa Clara opened the 1998-99 season with eight straight wins before dropping the ninth contest and went 9-0 two seasons ago. Last year, the Broncos were 7-2 at this same point in the schedule.

Non Conference Success
With a 9-3 non-conference mark last season, Santa Clara has posted 10 straight non-losing non-conference seasons and is 84-38 (.689) during that span. The Broncos were also a part of the WCC's success last season, as the league marked its most successful women's basketball non-conference season ever, 26 games over .500.

Scouting the Temple Owls
Series Record: SCU leads 1-0
First Game: Santa Clara won 79-53 on Dec. 31, 1996 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won 79-53 on Dec. 31, 1996 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 26 on Dec. 31, 1996 (79-53) in Santa Clara
Temple Record in 2000-2001: 19-11 (11-5, 3rd in Atlantic 10 Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Notable: Temple is 3-4 with victories over Pennsylvania, Villanova and Rutgers... the Owls are led by Athena Christoforakis' 13 ppg... Temple has been outrebounded by an average of six boards per contest.

Scouting the Portland State Vikings
Series Record: SCU leads 1-0
First Game: Santa Clara won 80-78 on Dec. 3, 1987 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won 80-78 on Dec. 3, 1987 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 2 on Dec. 3, 1987 (80-78) in Santa Clara
PSU Record in 2000-2001: 4-24 (3-13, 8th in Big Sky Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: Portland State is 4-5 on the season, but will face CS Northridge before visiting the Broncos on Friday... the Vikings are led by junior Nikki Petticrew's 14.6 ppg average... the team opened the season with a win over Texas A&M and has also defeated UC Irvine, UC Riverside and WCC foe Portland.

Last Week: Broncos Win at Pacific, FSU
Santa Clara team defeated Pacific 70-61 Wednesday at the Spanos Center. The victory was the third straight for the Broncos over the Tigers. Tammy Annas led the team with 16 points while Becki Ashbaugh and Kim Butler added 11 each. Although both teams combined for 24 turnovers in the first half, it was the Broncos that lead by 17 at intermission, with a 40-23 advantage after Quinn Thomas nailed a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in the period. Santa Clara opened up an early lead with its inside game, as Julie Butler was able to score three easy baskets down low before sitting out the half on the bench due to early foul trouble. Kendra Rhea and Annas, as well as Kim Butler, kept up the pace and added 14 points from the post. The Broncos continued to fine tune the transition game in the second period, including two layups by Annas to put the Broncos up by 21 less than five minutes into the second half. A modest 7-0 Tiger run midway through the period reduced the Bronco edge to 15 and another UOP run at the end of the game provided the final score.

Annas led SCU for the second straight game, this time a 17-point effort as the Broncos defeated Fresno State 75-65 Saturday evening at North Gym. Julie Butler and Rhea added 14 and 13, respectively, while Caroline Gruening added 11. Additionally, Rhea went a perfect 6-6 from the field. It took both teams a combined 11 trips down the court before a field goal was registered, a layup coming from Annas, the first of 10 points she recorded in the contest's first seven minutes. Fresno State eventually carried a 10-7 lead early, before the Broncos scored 10 straight. Santa Clara took an eight-point lead into intermission when a drive by Ashbaugh just beat the buzzer. Santa Clara returned on fire from outside, with Ashbaugh and Gruening recording treys. Fresno State responded with its own rally and pulled to within one at 40-39. Gruening nailed two more threes from the baseline and the Broncos quickly opened a 10-point lead. SCU led by as many as 14 before settling for the final score. Santa Clara did not miss a free throw in the second half, making 11 in the period and 16 of 19 overall for a season high 84 percent. Additionally, the Broncos went 14-23 (61 percent) from the field in the second half and 5-6 from three-point land (83 percent).

Up Next: Wrapping Up Conference Play
After the holiday, Santa Clara will host CS Northridge and visit TCU before kicking off the West Coast Conference season against Gonzaga and Portland.

Season/Game Tickets On Sale
Season and individual game tickets for Santa Clara are on sale through the school's official website www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660. In conjunction with Student Advantage's FANSonly Network, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual games or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. Season and individual match ticket packages are also available through the athletic ticket office, open between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Head Coach Chris Denker
In his first season as head coach, Chris Denker (Oregon '90) led the Broncos to a share of the regular season WCC title with Saint Mary's. The championship made Denker and first-year Gael coach Michelle Jacoby the first first-year coaches to win a women's basketball title in the WCC, taking into consideration both rookie head coaches and previously experienced head coaches in their first year with a league squad. Additionally, the victory over Pepperdine on Jan. 11 made Denker the winningest first-year head coach in SCU history, surpassing 10-year head coach Ken Thompson's first year mark of nine wins in the 1978-79 season. Now in his second season with a 27-10 career mark, Denker was no stranger to Santa Clara basketball. Serving as an assistant coach on Caren Horstmeyer's staff for the last seven years, Denker was the top recruiting and offensive coordinator. His teams amassed a 137-64 (.682) overall record, including a 69-29 (.704) mark in West Coast Conference play. The Broncos have also won three WCC Championships under his watch and advanced to the postseason four times. He has also been an assistant coach Idaho State University and South Eugene (Ore.) High School. As a collegiate player, Denker lettered in basketball as a freshman at Boise State University before transferring to Linn Benton Community College the next year. At LBCC, he served as the basketball team captain and earned honorable mention All-League recognition in 1987.