March 4, 2003
Santa Clara will return to San Diego for the third year in a row to close out season play. The West Coast Conference Tournament will be held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus March 6-9. The Broncos are the Championship's third seed, and will play in the second round on Friday, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Santa Clara will play the winner of the Portland-Loyola Marymount contest.
WCC Changes Tournament Format
The West Coast Conference Tournament is adopting 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.
Pepperdine captured its second straight regular season title last weekend, and has claim to the top seed in the tournament. Santa Clara held a one-game lead over Gonzaga entering the last week of play for the coveted second seed, but the team ended up tied after Saturday's game, and the Zags won a tie-breaker, placing the Broncos third. San Francisco earned the fourth seed, while Portland, San Diego, Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's round out the seedings.
The women's championship game will air on Sunday Fox Sports Bay Area, Fox Sports Northwest and Fox Sports West2 at 7 p.m.
WCC Tournament Tickets on Sale
Tickets for the 2003 West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament are on sale now. An all-session general admission ticket is $40, while single session general admission tickets are $12. Students can buy tickets for $5. Please visit the school's official website SantaClaraBroncos.com or call 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 tickets via the official athletic website. Please call the athletic ticket office, open between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Four Starters Named to All-WCC Squads
Four starters were named to the All-West Coast Conference teams, the league announced Monday. Senior forward Julie Butler and sophomore guard Kayla Huss were named first-team selections. Senior forward Kendra Rhea and sophomore guard Quinn Thomas were honorable mention honorees.
Annas, Rhea Earn WCC All-Academic Honors
Tammy Annas and Kendra Rhea were named to the West Coast Conference Winter All-Academic Team last week. The 2003 WCC Winter All-Academic teams honor some of the league's finest examples of the consummate scholar-athlete. To be considered, a student-athlete must earn at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average, be a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletic credentials, and have sophomore athletic and academic standing. Annas, a senior forward from Enumclaw, Wash., is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.1 ppg. She is also second on the team in rebounding and has a team-high 61 steals. Rhea, a senior forward from Lakeside, Calif. is the team's rebounding leader, averaging 7.7 rpg. She was named to the WCC All-Academic team as a junior.
Broncos Record Another Top Three Finish
Santa Clara finished the regular season tied for second in the WCC standings. It marks the 13th straight season that the Broncos have finished in the top three in the standings.
Live on the Internet
Anthony Passarelli returns as the voice of the Broncos for a second season, and will broadcast live on the Internet through the West Coast Conference Championships. Santa Clara has been offering a live audio broadcast for the third straight season on SantaClaraBroncos.com.
A Look Ahead
The NCAA Selection Show will air live on ESPN on Sunday, March 16 at 2 p.m. First- and second-round games will be March 22 and 24 at Boulder, Colo.; Athens, Ga.; Norfolk, Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Eugene, Ore.; West Lafayette, Ind.; Stanford, Calif.; and Knoxville, Tenn.; and March 23 and 25 at Cincinnati, Ohio; Storrs, Conn.; Manhattan, Kan.; Ruston, La.; Raleigh, N.C.; Norman, Okla.; University Park, Pa.; and Lubbock, Texas. Regionals will be March 29 and 31 at Knoxville, Albuquerque, Dayton, Ohio, and Stanford. The Final Four is April 6 and 8 in Atlanta.
The Butler sisters, senior Julie and sophomore Kim, are one of four 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. Carey Sauer of San Francisco sees her opponent on the other side of the court, as Rose Sauer plays for Portland. Additionally, SCU has also faced sisters at Texas A&M, San Jose State and Eastern Michigan.
Welcome to "Washington South"
With seven players on this year's roster from the state of Washington, the mission campus is becoming known as "Washington South." The Broncos returned seven of the eight Washington natives from last season in seniors Tammy Annas of Enumclaw, Julie Butler of Tacoma and Courtney Cushing of Brush Prairie, as well as junior Jennie Rondel of Kirkland, and last year's entire recruiting class, Kim Butler of Tacoma, Quinn Thomas of Kent and Kayla Huss of Everett.
Senior Julie Butler leads the conference in field goal percentage, with a 51.7 percentage, while sophomore Kayla Huss is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage, with a 44.4 percent mark, and in assists, with 5.46 per game. Just counting WCC contests, senior Julie Butler leads in field goal percentage, with a 56.8 percent mark, while Huss is tops in dishing the rock, averaging 5.93 assists per game. Sophomore Quinn Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made, averaging 2.64 per outing.