January 12, 2005

Women's Basketball Opens WCC Action at Home against Saint Mary's

Jan. 12, 2005

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This Week
Santa Clara, winners of four of its last five games, will play its first home West Coast Conference game on Saturday, hosting Saint Mary's for a 7 p.m. scheduled tip-off at the Leavey Center. The Gaels are 9-6 overall, 1-1 in league play. The team is led by the WCC's Player of the Month for December, Triola Jackson, who has posted five straight double-doubles. In addition to exciting basketball action, the Athletic Department will host Bronco Kidz Day on Saturday.

Three-Point Game
Santa Clara's offense is focused on long ball, as the Broncos are averaging 9.5 three-point field goals made per outing, a .385 clip over 15 contests. Quinn Thomas has made 42 treys at a .368 percentage, and Ashley Graham follows with 40, .482. The Broncos have historically led the West Coast Conference in this category, and last season broke the league season record for threes made during conference play. In November, Santa Clara made 13 three-pointers at Hawaii, tying a program record for a game and setting a Rainbow Wahine Classic new mark. In mid-December, Santa Clara topped that with 14 threes at Wisconsin, also an opponent record for the Badgers. The Broncos matched that effort on Dec. 30 with 14 threes against Portland State.

Nationally Speaking
Santa Clara is averaging an NCAA-best 9.5 three-point field goals per contest, and is ranked 13th in accurace (.385) and 30th in scoring offense (72.6). Sophomore guard Ashley Graham is ranked ninth in percentage (.482) and 20th in three-point field goals made per game (2.7). Quinn Thomas is ranked 10th in per game average, with 2.8.

Regarding RPI, which is based on winning percentage, schedule strength and opponent schedule strength, Santa Clara is rated 67th and the WCC is listed 11th.

Playing the Nation's Best
The Bronco program is known to play a tough schedule on a regular basis, and this year's is no exception. The Broncos faced three top-25 teams in a 15-day span during non-conference play, taking on 13th-ranked Michigan State and No. 3 Georgia at the Rainbow Wahine Classic, and following with a contest against No. 16 Minnesota. Additionally, another non-conference opponent, UW-Green Bay, is receiving votes in the Associated Press poll.

Live Audio & Video on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire schedule returns to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast was available for a fourth 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 can 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 fourth season.

Leading the WCC
Santa Clara leads the league in scoring offense (72.6), three-point field goals made per game (9.5), three-point field goal percentage (.385) and is one of only two league teams with a positive turnover margin (2.4). Individually, Quinn Thomas is fourth (15.2) in scoring, followed by Ashley Graham in eighth (12.5) and Michelle Cozad in 11th (10.1). Graham leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.482), is second in three-point field goals made (2.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.84), while ranking fifth in assists (3.8) and eighth in field goal percentage (.489). Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made (2.8), is fifth in steals (1.87), and 10th in assists (2.6) and three-point field goal percentage (.368). Additionally, she is the only guard in the top 15 in rebounding, listed 12th with a 4.9 average. Cozad is second in three-point field goal percentage (.444) and sixth in three-point field goals made (1.6). Kasey Monteith leads the league in field goal percentage (.571) and Kayla Huss is ranked ninth in assists (2.6).

WCC Tournament to Return to Santa Clara
The WCC Championship is returning to the Leavey Center for a second straight season. The 14th annual women's tournament will take place March 3-6. The 2005 edition was originally slated to be held in War Memorial Gym at San Francisco. However, the Dons were unable to host the event due to construction delays on major renovations to the facility. In 2002, the league voted to rotate the championship site regionally. After SCU hosts in 2005, the two-year Bay Area rotation will be complete and the WCC tournament will move to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 and '07. The 2008 and '09 tournaments will be held in Southern California.

A Look Ahead: Broncos Continue WCC Action at Leavey
Santa Clara will continue the WCC season next weekend, Loyola Marymount on Thursday and Pepperdine on Saturday.

On TV
The Broncos are scheduled to make one television appearance this season during the WCC slate. Santa Clara will play at Saint Mary's in a Saturday, February 12 game that will tip-off at 7 p.m., with live coverage by Fox Sports Bay Area.