Feb. 4, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team returns to the Leavey Center on Tuesday, Feb. 5 to host No. 7/7 Stanford in non-conference action. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Broncos then travel to Moraga on Saturday to start the second half of West Coast Conference action against the Gaels of Saint Mary's. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. at the McKeon Pavilion.
SCU posted a 1-1 record in the final week of the first half of WCC action. The Broncos rallied in the final minutes of Wednesday night's contest to defeat the Pilots of Portland, 61-58. The game was tied 58-58 with 28 seconds to play. At the five second mark, Chandice Cronk nailed a three-pointer to give Santa Clara the win.
Spokane held a different story for the Broncos as they faced their second loss in the last 14 games. Gonzaga topped SCU 88-52 at the McCarthey Center.
The Broncos enter the week with a 16-5 overall record and a 5-2WCC record. The Broncos are paced by senior Cronk and Jen Gottschalk who average 17.1 and 16.5 points per game, respectively. Gottschalk also leads the Broncos rebounding efforts with 8.4 boards per game.
The No. 7/7 Cardinal enters Tuesday's game with a 19-3 overall record. Stanford also rides a seven game win streak into the contest. Last week, Stanford defeated USC and UCLA to improve their Pacific-10 record to 9-2. Chandice Wiggins leads the Cardinal's scoring efforts as she averages 18.7 points per game. Jayne Appel is the team's rebounding leader with 9.0 boards per game and is second in scoring (15.1 ppg).
Tuesday is the 38th meeting between the Broncos and Cardinal. Stanford leads the series 27-11. The two teams last met on Nov. 29, 2006 when the Cardinal registered a 89-56 victory at home. The two teams have not played at the Leavey Center since the 1998-99 season, when SCU interrupted Stanford's six game series win streak with a 81-65 triumph.
The Gaels enter the week with a 10-13 overall record and a 2-5 WCC record. SMC suffered back-to-back losses to Gonzaga (74-50) and Portland (80-78) last weekend. On the season, Jontelle Smith continues to lead the Gaels with 16.5 points per game, while Louella Tomlinson has amassed 115 blocks along with a 6.1 rebounding and a 12.7 scoring average.
Santa Clara leads the all-time series with a 31-19 records. The teams last met on Jan. 12 at the Leavey Center in the WCC opener. The Gaels posted a 74-71 win over the Broncos to interrupt their seven game win streak.
The Broncos will host Pepperdine and LMU in WCC action on Feb. 14 and 16, respectively.
Senior Gottschalk led the Broncos last season with three double-doubles. This season, she has more than doubled that number and continues to lead the WCC with eight double-doubles. She has tallied double-figure points in 16 of the Broncos 21 contests this season. Gottschalk is not the lone Broncos compiling double-doubles. Tracey Walker and Sara Majors have produced two each thus far this season.
Seniors Cronk, Gottschalk and Walker are no strangers to the Santa Clara career records lists as each are ranked in one or more categories. This week, Cronk jumped to No. 6 in field goals and No. 5 in field goal attempts this week.
Head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson is now 6 wins shy of reaching the 100 career victories mark. She currently owns a 94-78 record as a head coach.
In The WCC:
The Broncos enter the second half of conference play ranked second in the league, while the Bulldogs remain in first place with a 7-0 record. SCU holds onto its No. 1 rankings in scoring defense and three-point field goal percentage this week.
Individually, Cronk moved to second in free throw percentage and fourth in three-points field goal percentage, while Gottschalk is now tied for third in steals and remains in the No. 1 spot in defensive rebounds.
In The Nation:
As a team, Santa Clara is ranked in all the statistical categories. SCU's highest rankings are:
3FG per Game - No. 7
3FG PCT - No. 20
Assists per game - No. 21
Free-Throw PCT - No. 24
Won-Lost PCT - No. 38
Field-Goal PCT - No. 44
Individually, Cronk moved up to No. 59 in points per game and No. 46 in free throw percentage this week.
The Broncos hold an all-time mark of 266-141 (.654) in games held at the Leavey Center, dating back to the Toso Pavilion days in 1979-80. Since going 6-8 at home in the 1995-96 season, the Broncos have only had one sub-.500 season at home since then, when the injury-ravaged 2003-04 team went 3-13. This season the Broncos are 8-2 at home and last year's Broncos went 7-7 at the Leavey Center. Three times in program history SCU has posted unblemished marks at home, going 17-0 in 1990-91, 15-0 in 1997-98, and 12-0 in 2001-02.