March 1, 2005

Women's Basketball Hosts USF in WCC First Round

March 1, 2005

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SCU Hosts WCC Championship
Santa Clara will host the 14th annual WCC Women's Basketball Tournament at the Leavey Center this week. Games kick off on Thursday, with No. 2 seed Loyola Marymount vs. No. 7 San Diego. LMU is the defending champion. Top-seed Gonzaga will play next, against No. 8 Portland. The Bulldogs are currently riding a 21-game win streak and are ranked 24th nationally. The No. 3 Broncos will open the tournament during the evening session at 6 p.m., taking on No. 6 San Francisco in the first round for the second straight year. Thursday's action will close with No. 4 Pepperdine vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's.

Continuing Through the Tournament
All teams will take a rest day on Friday, and return for the semifinals on Saturday. Teams are re-seeded and the first semifinal will tip-off at noon, with the second game following 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first contest. Sunday's Championship game will take place at 1 p.m. and will also air live on Fox Sports Network.

Ticket Information
Remaining single-session tickets are on sale now. An 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.

Bronco History in Hosting the Tournament
Santa Clara is hosting the WCC Basketball Championships for the 10th time overall, and for the second consecutive season. The Broncos' two tournament championships have come as the host school, in 1992 and '98.

A Return to the Top 3 in WCC Standings
In 2003-04, Santa Clara's 4-10 WCC record marked the first time in 13 years that the Broncos did not finish the conference season at or above .500. With the regular season concluding last week, the Broncos successfully returned to the top three of league's standings.

Thomas Leads All-WCC Honors
Quinn Thomas was named a First Team All-West Coast Conference honoree for the second straight season, the league office announced Monday morning. Michelle Cozad and Kayla Huss were named to the honorable mention team, and Chandice Cronk received recognition to the All-Freshman squad.

Three-Point Game
Santa Clara's offense is focused on long ball, as the Broncos are averaging 8.6 three-point field goals made per outing, a .366 clip over the season. Quinn Thomas has netted 56 and Michelle Cozad and Ashley Graham are right behind at 47 and 45, respectively. The Broncos have historically led the WCC in this category, and surpassed their own WCC record of 200 treys in a single season at Saint Mary's on Jan. 12 and now have 233 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.

Nationally Speaking
Santa Clara is averaging 8.6 three-point field goals per contest, third best in the NCAA, and is ranked 15th in accuracy (.366). Individually, sophomore guard Ashley Graham is ranked seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.452) and Quinn Thomas is ranked 13th in three-point field goals made per game (2.7).

Regarding RPI, which is based on winning percentage, schedule strength and opponent schedule strength, Santa Clara is rated 107th, second best in the league, and the WCC is listed 13th.

Thomas Reaches Career Milestone
On Feb. 17, Quinn Thomas became only 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 three weeks. She returned to action at Saint Mary's on Jan. 12 and netted seven points, leaving her just four points shy of the milestone. The Kent, Wash., native hit four three-pointers during first-half action at Pepperdine on Jan. 17, with her second trey sending her over 1,000 points.

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 (71.2), three-point field goals made per game (8.6), three-point field goal percentage (.366) and is one of only two league teams with a positive turnover margin (2.4). Individually, Quinn Thomas is fifth (14.5) in scoring, followed by Michelle Cozad in seventh (12.1) and Ashley Graham in 18th (9.5). Graham leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.452) is third in three-point field goals made (1.8), while ranking sixth in assists (3.0) and eighth in field goal percentage (.486). Thomas leads the league in three-point field goals made (2.7), is second in steals (2.2), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.368) and 10th in assists (2.4). Additionally, she is the only guard in the top 15 in rebounding, listed 11th with a 5.0 average. Cozad is second and free throw percentage (.828), third in three-point field goal percentage (.421) and fifth in three-point field goals made (1.7). Kayla Huss is ranked fifth in assists (3.2) and second in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).