Feb. 4, 2003
Having won 10 of its last 11 games--including five straight--Santa Clara will begin the second half of the West Coast Conference season this weekend, and will play five of the remaining seven games on the road. First up is a trip to San Diego, where the Broncos are 0-4 in their last four trips to play the Toreros during the regular season. The game will be played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, host of the 2003 WCC Championship in March.
Scouting the San Diego Toreros
Series Record: SCU leads 25-15
First Game: Santa Clara won 59-41 on Jan. 4, 1985 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won 77-43 on Jan. 11, 2003 in Santa Clara
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 37, twice, last on Jan. 31, 1997 (80-43) in Santa Clara
Largest USD Margin of Victory: 17 on Jan. 24, 1990 (80-63) in Santa Clara
USD Record in 2001-02: 13-15, (4-10, 7th in West Coast Conference)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 8/5
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: The Toreros are 9-11 this season... USD is struggling at home, posting a 4-6 record this season at the JCP. Erin Malich leads the team with her 14 ppg and 6.2 rpg average.
Leading the WCC
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in five categories: field goal percentage (.458), assists (19.00), scoring margin (+10.2), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.92) and field goal percent defense (.361), while ranking second in five other categories: scoring offense, free throw percentage, steals, 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 five players averaging at least four rebounds per contest.
A look back at the first half of the conference schedule shows Pepperdine, the preseason favorite, and Santa Clara, picked second, tied atop the league standings with identical 6-1 records. Pepperdine and Santa Clara have shared a part of, or won outright, the WCC title the past five seasons.
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 16 Votes
Although the Broncos are not ranked in the top 25 polls yet, the team has been building national recognition during their current five-game win streak. Santa Clara received 16 votes in this week's listing from the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll. SCU received 11votes in the Jan 28 listing and one vote in each of the prior two weeks. The Broncos started the season with seven votes in the first two weeks of that poll.
After posting a 5-8 record on the road last season-with five of those losses to WCC teams-the Broncos have shown this year that being away from the comforts of the Leavey Center has been less of an issue. Santa Clara is currently 5-3 on the road this season and won its first two road games of league play.
Up Next: Broncos Visit Tinsel town for Key League Contests
Santa Clara remains on the road and will face Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine next weekend. The game against the Waves will be broadcast on Fox Sports.
Top Offensive Performance
The 94 points Santa Clara scored against Portland on Jan. 30 marked the highest point total in the West Coast Conference against a league team this season.
Senior Julie Butler leads the conference in field goal percentage, with a 49.7 percentage, while sophomore Kayla Huss is tops in the league in assists, averaging 5.37 per game. Just counting WCC contests, senior Kendra Rhea leads in field goal percentage, with a 56.6 percent mark, while Huss is still tops in dishing the rock, averaging 6.14 assists per game. Sophomore Quinn Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made, averaging 2.14 per outing.
Former Coach's Mark about to be Eclipsed
Former Santa Clara head coach Caren Horstmeyer has held the record for most career WCC wins with 112 since she left the Bronco program for Cal after the 2000 season. Current head coaches Mary Hile-Nepfel of San Francisco and Jim Sollars of Portland tied that mark with wins over the last two weekends and both will have a chance to set a new league coaching best this weekend. Horstmeyer led the Broncos for 12 years, from 1988-2000 and finished with 221 wins and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
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.