Feb. 24, 2004
Santa Clara (8-17, 4-8) will close the regular and West Coast Conference seasons at home against Gonzaga and Portland. The Broncos host the Bulldogs (15-10, 8-4) on Thursday and the Pilots (11-14, 6-6) on Saturday. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. Saturday's contest will also honor the Broncos two seniors, who will be playing in their final home game: Jennie Rondel and Whitney Sutak.
Scouting the Gonzaga Bulldogs
Series Record: SCU leads 25-9
First Game: Gonzaga won (59-45) on Jan. 16, 1988 in Spokane
Last Game: Santa Clara won (60-59 OT) on March 8, 2003 in San Diego
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 44 on Jan. 10, 1997 (84-40) in Santa Clara
Largest Gonzaga Margin of Victory: 26 on Feb. 3, 1989 (72-46) in Spokane
Gonzaga Record in 2002-03: 18-12 (9-5)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 12/1
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Notable: Santa Clara has won 16 straight home contests against the Bulldogs.
Scouting the Portland Pilots
Series Record: SCU leads 20-18
First Game: Santa Clara won (62-59) on Jan. 5, 1987 in Santa Clara
Last Game: Santa Clara won (79-69) on March 1, 2003 in Portland
Largest SCU Margin of Victory: 64 on Jan. 31, 1991 (79-53) in Portland
Largest Portland Margin of Victory: 26 on Jan. 13, 1996 (69-43) in Portland
Portland Record in 2002-03: 11-17 (5-9)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2
Notable: Portland's last win at the Leavey Center came during the 1996-97 season.
Broncos to Host WCC Championship Next Week
The WCC Women's Championships will return to the Bay Area next week. 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 '07 tournament will move to the Pacific Northwest before heading to Southern California in 2008 and '09. This will be Santa Clara's eighth time as host, most recently in 2000.
WCC Special Ticket Offers
A variety of ticket discounts and promotions are being associated with the WCC Women's Basketball Championship. These offers are good for any and all sessions of the upcoming league tournament.
Groups: Groups of 10 people or more may purchase tickets at $2/session; Groups of 20 people or more may purchase tickets at $1/session.
Take a Kid to the Game: Kids get in free with an adult paid admission.
Movie Theatre Stubs: Buy one, get one free with movie theatre stub from Century 21-25 Theatres in San Jose.
SCU Chamber of Commerce: Buy one, get one free with coupon.
San Jose Mercury News: Kids get in free with an adult paid admission.
Thomas' Five Threes Away from Career Record
Junior guard Quinn Thomas had the hot hand from long range in January, hitting 50 percent from three-point land. Her third trey at Portland on Jan. 31 marked the 142nd of her career, putting Thomas solely in second place in the Bronco recordbooks for three-pointers made. She surpassed former teammate and 2002 graduate Becki Ashbaugh, who was actually in attendance that night, as she drove up from the University of Oregon, where she is currently attending law school. Thomas is currently at 153, and needs just five more to set a new mark, by passing Julie Lienert's record of 157, set from 1988-91. Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 2.33. She has a 34.5 percentage from long range, ranked eighth in the conference.
Santa Clara is ranked 25th nationally in three-pointers per game, averaging 6.8 per contest and have a chance to break the WCC season record for three-pointers made during conference play. SCU has made 79, with the 1999-2000 Zags holding the record at 88. In other statistics, the Broncos lead the WCC in three-point field goals made per game (6.64) and three-point field goal percentage (.342), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.411) and assists (14.20). Individually, the Broncos boast the most balanced offensive attack, with five players in the top 30, more than any other school. Quinn Thomas leads SCU in that category, ranked 10th, averaging 10.5 per game. She's also tops in three-point field goals made (2.33) eighth in three-point percentage (.345) and 14th in steals (1.33). Jennie Rondel is ranked 13th in scoring (10.4) and seventh in field goal percentage (.470), while Ashley Graham is second in three-point percentage (.430), third in three-point field goals made (1.72) and fourth in assists (3.84). Whitney Sutak is ranked fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.377), 14th in field goal percentage (.414) and 22nd in scoring (8.4).
Broncos Finish Below .500 for First Time in 13 Years
With Santa Clara's loss to Saint Mary's last week, the Broncos will be unable to finish the conference season at or above .500 for the first time in 13 seasons.
Unbeatable at Leavey vs. the WCC
The Broncos have won 40 of its last 46 regular season home league contests played in Leavey, dating back to the last six-plus seasons.
Thomas Lights Up Court on Birthday
Junior guard Quinn Thomas celebrated her 21st birthday on the court against San Diego State. The team found itself down 18 points in the second half, but a Bronco run, capped by a Thomas three, erased the deficit and gave SCU a 60-59 lead. Later, again, with the Broncos' down, Thomas hit a baseline three with 18.3 seconds on the clock, which served to be the game-winner. The gift of victory isn't the first for this Capricorn. Last season, the Broncos played TCU on her special day, and saw a 23-point, 5-rebound performance to lead the Broncos.
A Fountain of Youth
Santa Clara is one of the top 15 youngest women's basketball teams that is taking the court this season. With six freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors, the Broncos' average age is 19.4 years heading into the season.
In the Rankings
The Bronco program is known to play a tough schedule on a regular basis, and this year's is no exception. Santa Clara opened its season hosting four teams that were mentioned in the preseason USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' Poll. It peaked with 10th-ranked Georgia during Thanksgiving weekend. Oregon was ranked 21st when the two teams squared off in late December, and two other non-conference opponents--UW-Green Bay and BYU--received votes in the opening poll.
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 third season.
More Media Coverage
The University's student radio station, KSCU 103.3 FM, is scheduled to air the entire women's home WCC schedule.