December 27, 2005

Santa Clara Women Return to Action Wednesday

Dec. 27, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After an 11-day break for the holidays, the Santa Clara women's basketball team will return to action Wednesday afternoon looking to continue their two-game winning streak as they host the CS Northridge Matadors at 2 p.m.

The Broncos (4-6) aim to continue their momentum which has built since an 85-54 victory on Dec. 15 at Eastern Washington and an 81-70 Rivalry Series win over San Jose State two days later. Senior Michelle Cozad was an instrumental factor in the two wins, notching a pair of double-doubles en route to earning her third WCC Player of the Week honor of the season on Dec. 19.

Santa Clara has quickly become one of the top offensive teams in the nation, ranking ninth in the country with a scoring average of 80.6 points per game as of Dec. 19, the last national stats update. SCU led the nation with 94 threes and ranked second in the NCAA shooting 44.8% from behind the arc. The team's 78.9% free-throw percentage was also third-best in the nation.

Individually, Cozad leads the WCC in both scoring (18.9 ppg) and rebounding (9.7 rpg) as well as three-point accuracy (53.3%) and threes made (32). On a national level, Cozad's three-point accuracy ranked sixth while her total threes were good for third-best. Chandice Cronk paces the conference with a 92.9% free-throw percentage which nationally has her tied for 11th-best.

On the inside, Ashley Gonnerman (11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds per game) and Kasey Monteith (7.1, 4.6) provide the Broncos with a paint presence to keep defenses off-balance. The inside duo have become reliable go-to scorers, as Monteith's 55.6 shooting percentage leads the WCC, followed by Gonnerman's 54.4% shooting from the field.

CS Northridge (3-7) brings a two-game streak of its own into Wednesday's game, having defeated Southeastern Louisiana and Portland in the past week. The Matadors are led offensively by Jazelle Burries (10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds per game) and LaJoyce King (10.4, 5.4) and will be playing their second-straight game against a WCC school.

Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday and the game will kick off a tripleheader as it serves as the lead-in to the men's Cable Car Classic which begins at 6 p.m. with Santa Clara taking on UC Riverside. Tickets for all games are available by calling (408) 554-4660.