January 17, 2006

Santa Clara To Face Conference Leaders This Weekend

Jan. 17, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team heads into the final portion of its three-game homestand this weekend as they battle the WCC's top two teams in the Pepperdine Waves and the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Broncos will open things up Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the Waves before closing things out with a 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon contest opposite the Lions.

The Broncos (7-9, 1-2 WCC) are coming off of a tough 85-70 defeat at the hands of the San Diego Toreros last Saturday afternoon. Chandice Cronk scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half to stake SCU to a 47-34 lead, but the Broncos could not sustain the advantage as the Toreros pulled out the win.

Santa Clara will have its chance to bounce back this weekend, as the Bronco offense paces the West Coast Conference in scoring with 76.4 points a game, bolstered by their WCC-best 149 three-pointers made. The team also leads the conference in all aspects of shooting percentage, shooting 44.5% overall from the floor, 41.9% from behind the arc, and 75.8% from the free-throw line.

Michelle Cozad continues to lead the conference in scoring (17.4 ppg), threes made (44 - t1st) and is tied for second in rebounding (9.5 rpg) while Cronk leads the WCC with a 91.4% rate from the free-throw line and Ashley Graham is hitting a conference-leading 50.7% of her three-point attempts.

The Waves (6-11, 3-1 WCC), meanwhile, are coming off of a big weekend which saw them upset 2005 WCC favorite Gonzaga in a 59-58 overtime affair Thursday night. Jessica Ross' steal with 28 seconds left and her block with three seconds left preserved the Pepperdine win against the Bulldogs. Saturday, the Waves continued their winning ways as they defeated Portland 62-52 behind the 13 points apiece from Daphanie Kennedy and Teiosha George. Kennedy leads the Waves with 16.0 points a game while Jasmane Clarendon scores 13.5 a game and leads the team with 5.5 rebounds per game.

Saturday, the first-place Lions (10-7, 4-0 WCC) will come into the Leavey Center as the only WCC team above .500 so far this season. Guard Amanda Patton was named WCC Player of the Week Monday as she averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in two victories last week, 77-66 over Portland and then a 75-46 crushing of Gonzaga on Saturday. Patton paces the Lions with 11.1 points a game while Ashlee Dunlap nets 10.2 a game and leads the WCC in rebounding with 9.9 rebounds a game.

Tickets are available for both contests by calling (408) 554-4660.