January 4, 2006

Big December Earns Cozad Player of the Month Honors

Jan. 4, 2006

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Leading the West Coast Conference in scoring, rebounding, three-pointers made and being the focal point of a team that averages 78 points a game and has won four of its last five definitely deserves some credit. On Monday, senior guard Michelle Cozad got that recognition as she was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for December.

In eight games last month, Cozad helped lead the Broncos to a 5-3 mark, including a four-game winning streak to close out December. Over the eight games posted five double-doubles and averaged 19.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals a game.

"There's no question that our team rallies around Michelle," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "I think it is a great honor that she has been named Player of the Month and the word that comes out immediately in my mind is `consistency.' Obviously she has been consistent and she's been able to maintain this quality of play throughout the entire month. We fully believe that if she continues to work hard, which I'm sure she will, that she can continue to have success and the rest of the team has to continue to rally around her but at the same time we have to get contributions from others."

For the season, Cozad's 18.7 point-per-game average not only leads the WCC, but is also among the nation's top-30. Her 39 three-pointers are tied for second-most in the country and her 47.6% accuracy from behind the arc is good for 23rd. Additionally, she leads the conference in rebounding, pulling down 9.6 boards a game.

Behind Cozad's offensive output, Santa Clara has the No. 15 offense in the country, scoring 78.3 points a game and the team is also the national leader with 121 threes made. SCU's 43.5% shooting from three-point land is third in the nation and the squad's 78.1% free-throw shooting is tied for second.

The Broncos begin WCC action this weekend as they travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games. Friday night Santa Clara will face off with Gonzaga in a rematch of last season's WCC Tournament title game, in which Cozad scored 22 points and earned Tournament MVP honors as the Broncos upset the Bulldogs 77-66. Friday night's game is set to tip-off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

Sunday, the Broncos will head to the Chiles Center in Portland to battle the Pilots in a 2 p.m. game.