January 15, 2003

Women's Hoops Takes Five-Game Win Streak against League's Best

Jan. 15, 2003

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This Week
Santa Clara closes a four game homestand this week with two West Coast Conference contests in the Leavey Center. Both have 7 p.m. tip-offs with Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount visiting. The Broncos will face the Waves on Thursday in a rematch of the 2002 WCC Championship game. The athletic department will also be celebrating Girl Scout and High School Night. On Saturday, Santa Clara will face the Lions. The University will celebrate Bronco Kidz Day during that contest.

Scouting the Pepperdine Waves
Series Record: SCU leads 24-26
First Game: Pepperdine won 71-52 on Dec. 14, 1978 in Malibu
Last Game: Pepperdine won 81-77 on March 3, 2002 in San Diego
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 26 on Jan. 16, 1998 (76-50) in Malibu
Largest Pepperdine Margin of Victory: 19 on Dec. 14, 1978 (71-52) in Malibu
Pepperdine Record in 2001-02: 23-8, (11-3, 1st in West Coast Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 10/2
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: The Waves are 10-5 overall and are the defending league champions... senior guard Damaris Hinojosa currently has 1,468 career points, one of two players in the league to reach the 1,000-point plateau... Thursday's contest will be a rematch of the 2002 WCC Championship game, in which Pepperdine won 81-77... the team lost leading scorer Shandrika Lee to a season-ending knee injury.

Scouting the Loyola Marymount Lions
Series Record: SCU leads 31-6
First Game: Santa Clara won 75-32 on Dec. 14, 1984 in Los Angeles
Last Game: Santa Clara won 65-63 on Feb. 21, 2002 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 44, twice, last on Feb. 13, 1998 (93-49) in Santa Clara
Largest LMU Margin of Victory: 10 on Jan. 22, 2000 (82-72) in Los Angeles
LMU Record in 2001-02: 15-13, (7-7, 3rd in West Coast Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 10/2
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Notable: The Lions are 10-5 overall, but only 3-5 on the road... LMU will face San Diego on Thursday before visiting the Broncos... LMU has not defeated the Broncos since the 1999-2000 season and has not won at SCU's Leavey Center since 1996... senior guard Claudine Auld was named the league's Player of the Week this past weekend, averaging 20.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg, while shooting .535 from the field in three contests.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast will be available for a third season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Leavey Center contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans 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. Anthony Passarelli returns as the voice of the Broncos for a second season.

In the Rankings: Broncos Receive One Vote This Week
Although the Broncos are not ranked in the top 25 polls yet, the team did receive one vote in the Jan. 13 listing from the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll. Santa Clara started the season with seven votes in the first two weeks of that poll.

Unbeatable at Leavey vs. the WCC
With Santa Clara's victory over San Diego to open the 2003 West Coast Conference season last weekend, the Broncos have now won 34 of its last 36 regular season home league contests, dating back to the last five-plus seasons.

Up Next: Broncos Travel Bay Area in Continuing League Action
Santa Clara hits the road next weekend, but remains in the Bay Area, with two WCC contests against Saint Mary's and San Francisco. The Broncos lost both of these road games last season in their only losing streak of 2001-02. Santa Clara will play at the Gaels' McKeon Pavilion on Friday night and then remain in the north part of the Bay for a Saturday night showdown against the Dons at War Memorial Gym.

Sister Act
The Butler sisters, senior Julie and sophomore Kim, are one of three sibling pairs to compete in the West Coast Conference. The Butlers are joined by Loyola Marymount's Bianca and Rachael Ziemann and Portland's Khalila and Cecily O'Rielly-Williams. Additionally, SCU has faced sisters at Texas A&M, San Jose State and Eastern Michigan.

Three-Point Threat
Santa Clara is 5-0 when the Broncos reach double figures in three-point field goals made. The team is currently hitting .360 from behind the arc, going 91-253 in non-conference action. Kayla Huss is ranked second in the WCC with her .469 accuracy.

Leading the WCC
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in five categories: field goal percentage (.447), free throw percentage (.755), assists (19.14), scoring margin (+9.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio, while ranking second in seven other categories: scoring offense, scoring defense, field goal percent defense, rebounding offense, rebounding margin, three-point field goals made and defensive rebounds. Santa Clara is one of the conference's most balanced teams, with nine players averaging five or more points per game and three players averaging at least four rebounds per contest.

Bronco Men are Finding Success as Well
Both the men's and women's basketball teams are in first place in the West Coast Conference at the conclusion of non-league action and the first week of conference play. The Men had a six-game win streak and won the Cable Car Classic Championship over Princeton. The Women notched road victories over Oregon and Tulsa and had a big win last week over TCU. Both teams have a 10-4 record and opened their respective league seasons with wins over San Diego.

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 Official College Sports 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 Michelle Bento
Santa Clara appointed Mountain View, Calif., native Michelle Bento as the seventh head coach in the school's 38-year women's basketball history in June. Bento recently completed her fourth season on the women's basketball coaching staff at Syracuse under veteran coach Marianna Freeman and was recently promoted to Associate Head Coach. A 10-year coaching veteran, Bento served as the program's recruiting coordinator as well as worked with the Orangewomen perimeter players and opponent scouting. In her four seasons at Syracuse, Bento coached two perimeter players who were invited to the WNBA pre-draft camp and one player who was invited to the USA Junior World Championship trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. Additionally, Bento's most recent recruiting class was ranked 15th by All-Star Girls Reports. Bento, who helped guide the Big East Conference all-star team to a 6-0 record in a summer tour of Germany in 2001, inherits a program that went 21-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons. A 1992 graduate of Fresno State with a degree in physical education, Bento spent the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater. As a player, Bento helped the Bulldogs to an appearance in the NIT in 1990, and was team captain and MVP of the 1991 squad. In addition, Bento played on the Fresno State softball team, and was named to the College World Series All-Tournament team in 1992. In the spring of 2000, Bento was invited to the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago.

WCC Changes Basketball Tournament Format
The West Coast Conference Tournament will adopt a new format for the 2003 Championship, consisting of an eight-team/ play-in format. Under the new format, the fifth through eighth seeds will compete in the opening round. Waiting for the winners in the quarterfinals will be the third and fourth seeds, who will have first-round byes. The winners of the quarterfinal match-ups will go head-to-head with the top two seeds, who will have byes through the first two rounds of the tournament. "This format places a premium on regular season success and should lead to a very competitive regular season race in 2003." Commissioner Michael Gilleran said. This season's league championship will be held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus March 6-9.

WCC Championship Coming to SCU in 2004
The WCC Men's and Women's Championships will return to the Bay Area in 2004 and 2005, as announced Wednesday by Commissioner Michael Gilleran. The change is a result of the WCC's decision to rotate the league's premier event between the Bay Area, Pacific Northwest and Southern California, each for a period of two consecutive years.

The 2006 and 2007 tournament will move to the Pacific Northwest before heading to Southern California in 2008 and 2009.

The 2004 WCC Basketball Tournament will be held at the Leavey Center. In 2005, the event will move approximately 50 miles north to the University of San Francisco, where games will be played at War Memorial Gymnasium. This will be Santa Clara's eighth time as host, most recently in 2000, while USF will serve as host for the fourth time.