Women's Basketball Closes Non-Conference Season This Week

Women's Basketball Closes Non-Conference Season This Week

Dec. 30, 2003

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This Week
Santa Clara will open the 2004 calendar year by closing out the non-conference season. The Broncos embark on a five-game road trip, with two contests this week. On Sunday, Santa Clara will visit Texas-San Antonio (2-6) before heading straight to Southern California for a contest against San Diego State (4-7).

Scouting the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners
Series Record: First Meeting
UTSA Record in 2002-03: 18-11 (17-3)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 8/5
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2

Scouting the San Diego State Aztecs
Series Record: San Diego State leads 1-0
First Meeting: San Diego State won (65-48) Dec. 14, 1981 in San Diego
Last Meeting: San Diego State won (65-48) Dec. 14, 1981 in San Diego
SDSU Largest Margin of Victory: 17 on Dec. 14, 1981 (65-48) in San Diego
SDSU Record in 2002-03: 9-18 (3-11)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 3/10
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2

Broncos Look to Snap Five-Game Losing Streak
Santa Clara has lost its past five consecutive games, a feat the program hasn't seen in the last eight seasons. Both occurrences happened during the month of December. During the 1995-96 campaign, the Broncos went winless from Dec. 9 through Dec. 27. This year's squad has not won since Dec. 7 at Nevada.

Home Struggles
After a perfect 12-0 season at the Leavey Center in 2001-02, Santa Clara's seven home losses to open the 2003-04 season are not being taken lightly. Defeats to UW-Green Bay, No. 10 Georgia and BYU marked the first time the Broncos have lost three home games to start the season since 1977-78, when SCU finished 4-20. Santa Clara went 0-3 at home to open the year before winning three straight road contests. This season's tough home schedule has also seen defeats to Oregon, Oklahoma State in overtime, Bay Area rival San Jose State and Alabama. In the 25 seasons the program has been playing at the Leavey Center, the women have only lost seven home games seven times, last seen during the 1995-96 campaign, when the Broncos went 6-8 on their home court.

Road Success
On the other hand, Santa Clara was 3-0 in away contests to open the season for the first time in five years, topping Pacific, Sacramento State and Nevada. The last time this happened, the Broncos defeated Fresno State, San Jose State and Denver to open the 1998-99 season. After a December 13 loss to Fresno State, SCU is now 3-1 on the road will return to traveling this week, when the team visits Texas-San Antonio and San Diego State to close out the non-conference season.

Season's Slow Start an Anomaly
The Broncos' 3-5 start to the season has not been seen the Santa Clara program in 15 years, dating back to the 1988-89 season, when SCU was 2-6 in its first eight games. In fact, in six of those last 15 seasons, the Broncos have started 3-0.

A Look Ahead: WCC Season Opens on the Road
The Broncos will remain on the road and start the West Coast Conference season next weekend, visiting Bay Area opponent San Francisco on Saturday, January 10. Santa Clara will also face Pepperdine and league-leading LMU on the road before returning to the Leavey Center.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the league in three-point field goals made per game (6.2), while ranking second in three-point field goal percent defense (.294) and defensive rebounds per game (24.80). The Broncos are third in scoring offense (64.6) and three-point field goal percentage (.315). Individually, Michelle Cozad leads the league in scoring (17.3), while Whitney Sutak is fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.414), eighth in three-point field goals made (1.2), 10th in scoring (11.2) and 13th in field goal percentage (.454). Three freshmen are also making themselves known to the league. Ashley Gonnerman is ranked fourth in free throw percentage (.828), eighth in blocked shots (0.8), ninth in rebounding (6.1) and 19th in scoring (8.5). Anna Martin is listed second in three-point field goal percentage (.476), while Ashley Graham is fourth in three-point field goals made (1.3), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.333) and 13th in assists (2.7).

The Broncos are scheduled to make one TV appearance this season during the WCC season. Santa Clara will host Saint Mary's for a Sunday, January 25 game that will tip-off at 1 p.m., with live coverage by Fox Sports Bay Area.

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.

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