Women's Basketball Opens Season vs. Fresno State Tonight

Nov. 22, 2004

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This Week
Santa Clara will open the regular season at home for the second consecutive year when it hosts Fresno State on Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. The Bulldogs opened their season on Friday, besting Pepperdine 58-38.

Season Openers
Santa Clara's loss to UW-Green Bay to open last year's schedule marked only the third season-opening loss for the Bronco program in the last 13 years. It also broke a streak of five-straight season-opening victories. A win over the Bulldogs will be the 11th season-opening victory for the Broncos in the last 14 years and 25th overall in 41 seasons.

Thomas' Sets Career Three-Point FG Made Record
Senior guard Quinn Thomas has made 161 career three-pointers, setting a new mark in Bronco history. Her 158th surpassed Julie Lienert's 13-year record of 157, set from 1988-91. Thomas had the hot hand from long range last January, hitting 50 percent from three-point land. Thomas led the league in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 2.28. She posted a 35.6 percentage from long range, ranked eighth in the conference. She also ranks ninth in the WCC for all-time three-pointers made.

In the Rankings
The Bronco program is known to play a tough schedule on a regular basis, and this year's was no exception. Santa Clara will host No. 14 Minnesota on Dec. 11 and could also face 15th-ranked Michigan State at the Hawaii Tournament. Additionally, non-conference opponent UW-Green Bay received votes in the Associated Press' opening poll.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's entire schedule returned to the Internet, as a live audio broadcast was available for a third season on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Additionally, Leavey Center contests could be followed online with a live statistical tracker, also located on SCU's official athletic website. By logging on, fans received 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 returned as the voice of the Broncos for a third season.

WCC Tournament to Return to Santa Clara
League Commissioner Michael Gilleran announced in early April that the WCC Basketball Championship will return to the Leavey Center on the Santa Clara University campus in 2005. The 14th annual women's tournament will take place March 3-6, while the 19th annual men's event will be played March 4-7.

The 2005 edition was originally slated to be held in War Memorial Gym at the University of San Francisco. However, the Dons are 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.

WCC Coaches Set Predictions in Preseason Poll
Santa Clara was picked by West Coast Conference coaches to finish fifth during the 2004-05 regular season, league officials announced in mid-October. Gonzaga was picked as the favorite, receiving seven first-place votes. The Bulldogs return all five starters off a squad that went 18-12 last season, including Ashley Burke and Shannon Mathews, who were selected as two of five "Players to Watch" heading into the season. Pepperdine placed second in the poll. The Waves have captured three of the last five regular season titles and advanced to the WNIT last year. Defending champions Loyola Marymount was listed third, followed by Saint Mary's. Rounding out the preseason poll after the Broncos are San Francisco, San Diego and Portland.

A Look Ahead: Hawaii Tournament
Santa Clara will spend a week in Hawaii, participating in a competitive eight-team tournament, the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. The Broncos are matched up against host Hawaii in the opening game, and then face Michigan State or Utah. The other half of the bracket includes Idaho, Georgia, California and TCU.

"These games provide a great opportunity for us early in the season to start our year on a positive note and give the players confidence," head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said. "It's going to be key for us to have some success in that tournament."

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

Season/Game Tickets on Sale
Season and individual game tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally-recognized basketball team 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.

In conjunction with its exclusive Internet partner, College Sports Online, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. A basketball season ticket package that includes the 14 home games is available for the adult price of $75 for general admission, while a family plan provides a family of five admission to each game for the low price of $100. Youth (12 and under) and senior (over 65-years-old) season tickets are also available for $40. Single matches 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.

Breakfast Club
Santa Clara began a new tradition with the first Breakfast Club meeting November 1, a gathering to be held monthly and hosted by Bronco head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson.

An energized group gathered at The Hungry Hound restaurant near campus the first morning, with Bento-Jackson briefing the guests on current program events and previewing the upcoming season. Over a continental breakfast, she introduced the program's three freshmen. Chandice Cronk, Tracey Walker and Sara Majors each spoke to the group about their personal backgrounds and initial reactions to being a student-athlete at Santa Clara.

Each Breakfast Club attendee received a raffle ticket upon arrival. Guests also had an opportunity to answer two Bronco Basketball trivia questions during the meeting. Winners received WCC sport chairs. Additionally, everyone in attendance received a complimentary t-shirt prior to their departure. The meeting proved to be a wonderful opportunity to gather and share in the excitement of the new season at hand.

Future Breakfast Club dates are December 6, January 4 and February 7. Cost is $6 per person and the event is held from 7 to 8 a.m. To participate in future Breakfast Clubs, please contact assistant coach Tanya Bauer.

SCU Named One of Best Values in the West by U.S. News & World Report
For the 15th year in a row, Santa Clara was ranked second among 124 master's universities in the West by the U.S. News and World Report. In an additional ranking listing "great schools at great prices" in four regions across the country, U.S. News ranked SCU second in the West region. To determine which institutions offer the best value, the magazine uses a formula that relates a school's academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of financial aid. The Western region includes all colleges and universities from Colorado to the West Coast, including Texas.

Additional highlights from the 2005 U.S. News rankings include:
• SCU had the highest average graduation rate -- 82 percent
• SCU had the highest average freshman retention rate -- 92 percent
• SCU had the second highest peer assessment score -- 4.0
• SCU had one of the highest average alumni giving rates -- 24 percent

The magazine's rankings relied on academic reputation, graduation rates, class size, percent of full-time faculty, student/faculty ratios, retention of students, student test scores and grades, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving. Complete rankings are on the U.S. News web site, www.usnews.com.