Broncos to Battle for Second Place in League Standings
Feb. 16, 2005
Santa Clara remains on the road and will play two key league games in the Los Angeles area this week. The Broncos will face Pepperdine on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Waves' Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. Santa Clara will follow with a 2 p.m. Saturday match-up at Loyola Marymount's Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. The Waves are currently one-half game behind the Broncos in the league race, while LMU has a one-game advantage in second place, making victories this weekend paramount to the Broncos' quest for a top three seeding in the upcoming league tournament.
Thomas Set to Reach Career MIlestone
Senior guard Quinn Thomas is just four points shy of becoming the 14th player in the Bronco program to reach 1,000 career points. Thomas netted 750 points her first three seasons on the mission campus, and had notched 239 this season before a knee injury sidelined her for the past three weeks. She returned to action at Saint Mary's last week and netted seven points. The Kent, Wash., native has already made her mark in the Bronco record books, as she set a new mark for career three-point field goals made last season, and has currently increased that record to 206.
Men's, Women's Programs Complete SMC Sweep
The Broncos' 70-55 victory on Saturday night marked the fourth time in the last 10 years, and seventh overall, that Santa Clara women's basketball has swept the Gaels during the regular season. In each of those seasons (1994-95, 1999-2000, 2002-03, 2004-05) the Bronco men's basketball program also swept Saint Mary's, providing a complete basketball sweep.
League Race for Second Seed
Although Gonzaga secured the WCC Championship last week, the battle for second place is heated, with three teams in the mix as the league season heads into its final two weeks. Loyola Marymount is in second with a 7-4 mark, just one game ahead of Santa Clara. Pepperdine is right there as well, just one-half game behind the Broncos in fourth place. San Francisco and Saint Mary's are also still in the race. The prize for the team in second place after the next five games is the second seed in the WCC Championship, to be held at SCU's Leavey Center the first weekend in March.
Santa Clara's offense is focused on long ball, as the Broncos are averaging 8.8 three-point field goals made per outing, a .374 clip over 23 contests. Quinn Thomas and Ashley Graham have each netted 45, and Michelle Cozad is right behind at 42. The Broncos have historically led the WCC in this category, and surpassed their own WCC record of 200 treys in a single season last week and now have 202 on the year. Last season they also broke the league record for threes made during conference play. Regarding single-game team bests, in November, Santa Clara made 13 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 at Wisconsin, also an opponent record for the Badgers. The Broncos matched that effort on Dec. 30 with 14 threes against Portland State.
Santa Clara is averaging 8.8 three-point field goals per contest, second best in the NCAA, and is ranked 18th in accuracy (.374). Individually, sophomore guard Ashley Graham is ranked ninth in percentage (.459).
Regarding RPI, which is based on winning percentage, schedule strength and opponent schedule strength, Santa Clara is rated 104th, second best in the league, and the WCC is listed 13th.
WCC Tournament Returns to Santa Clara
The WCC Championship is returning to the Leavey Center for a second straight season. After a two-year experiment with the same format that the men currently use, the WCC will use the traditional No. 1 seed vs. No. 8 seed format for the women's championship. All eight WCC schools will play on the first day of the tournament with 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 match-ups. The 14th annual women's tournament will begin with first-round action on March 3 and then take a day off on March 4. Play will resume with the semifinals on March 5 and the championship game on March 6.
All-session tickets are on sale now through each WCC institution's ticket office. Please note that any remaining single-session tickets will not go on sale until the Monday prior to the tournament. A Women's All-Session General Admission Pass is $40, and a single session pass is $12. Students and Youths will be admitted to a single session for only $5, and students of WCC institutions can watch a single game for $5.
Live Audio & Video on the Internet
A live audio broadcast for each Bronco game is available for a fourth season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Leavey Center contests can be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located online. 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 (71.6), three-point field goals made per game (8.8), three-point field goal percentage (.374) and is the only league team with a positive turnover margin (2.2). Individually, Quinn Thomas is fifth (14.5) in scoring, followed by Michelle Cozad in seventh (12.5) and Ashley Graham in 12th (10.6). Graham leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.459), is second in assist/turnover ratio (1.6) and three-point field goals made (2.3), while ranking seventh in field goal percentage (.488) and sixth in assists (3.3). Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made (2.7), is third in steals (2.2), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.366) and eighth in assists (2.6). Additionally, she is the only guard in the top 15 in rebounding, listed 13th with a 4.8 average. Cozad is second and free throw percentage (.824), third in three-point field goal percentage (.433) and fifth in three-point field goals made (1.8). Kayla Huss is ranked fifth in assists (3.4) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
A Look Ahead: Broncos End Regular Season at Home
Santa Clara will close the home season next week, hosting San Francisco and San Diego. Prior to Saturday night's tip-off, the program will honor its lone senior, Quinn Thomas.
Game Tickets on Sale
Game tickets for Santa Clara's final home games are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website SantaClaraBroncos.com, and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Single games are priced at $7 for adult general admission, $5 for youths and seniors and $2 for SCU students as well Bronco Kidz members. Single game team passes are also available for $35.