Women's Hoops Visits Bay Area Rivals in Continuing WCC Action

Jan. 21, 2003

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This Week
Santa Clara will travel the Bay Area this weekend for 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 and will be looking to avenge those losses. 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. Both games are schedule to tip off at 7 p.m.

Scouting the Saint Mary's Gaels
Series Record: SCU leads 24-15
First Game: Santa Clara won 75-32 on Jan. 6, 1979 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won 87-84 on March 1, 2002 in San Diego
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 43 on Jan. 6, 1979 (75-32) in Santa Clara
Largest SMC Margin of Victory: 26 on Jan. 20, 1989 (90-64) in Moraga
SMC Record in 2001-02: 16-13, (9-5, t-2nd in West Coast Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 9/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: Saint Mary's is currently 7-9 on the season and in the midst of a four-game losing streak... the last time the Gaels started the league season 0-3 was back in 1987-88... Sophomore Trioila Jackson leads the WCC with eight double-doubles on the season.

Scouting the San Francisco Dons
Series Record: SCU leads 31-29
First Game: Santa Clara won 47-23 in 1964-65
Last Game: San Francisco won 87-79 on Feb. 15, 2002 in San Francisco
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 27, on Feb. 3, 1999 (91-64) in San Francisco
Largest USF Margin of Victory: 37 on Dec. 1, 1979 (74-37) in San Francisco
USF Record in 2001-02: 18-12, (9-5, t-2nd in West Coast Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 8/7
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Notable: San Francisco is 6-11 on the season and 1-2 in league play... the team will play San Diego before meeting the Broncos in their first home game in nine matches.

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 for Second Straight Week
Although the Broncos are not ranked in the top 25 polls yet, the team did receive one vote in the Jan 20 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 and earned one vote in the Jan. 13 listing.

Up Next: Broncos Return Home to Host Northwest Squads
Santa Clara returns home to close out the first half of conference play, hosting Portland and Gonzaga at the Leavey Center. Both games start at 7 p.m. The Thursday, Jan. 30 game against the Pilots is "Future Bronco Night," where any youth wearing a basketball jersey will receive admission for just $2. The Saturday, Feb. 1 contest against the Bulldogs will have two celebrations: "Women in Sports Night" and "Alumni Night." The broncos will celebrate women in sports in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Leading the WCC
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in six categories: field goal percentage (.452), free throw percentage (.755), assists (19.00), scoring margin (+9.3), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.91) and field goal percent defense (.362), while ranking second in three other categories: scoring offense, three-point field goals made and defensive rebounds. Santa Clara is one of the conference's most balanced teams, with eight players averaging five or more points per game and three players averaging at least four rebounds per contest.

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.