Dec. 18, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team returns to the Leavey Center this week for its first contest in a five game home stand. The Broncos will host the Spartans of San Jose State in the annual Rivalry Series on Friday, Dec. 21. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
SCU pushed its win streak to three games last week with a 79-72 victory over Cal Poly on the road. Senior forward Jen Gottschalk (Littleton, Colo.) posted her seventh game with double-figure points. She led the game with 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals, while senior Tracey Walker (San Jose, Calif.) added 15 points and a game-high five assists.
The Broncos own a 7-3 overall record thus far with Gottschalk leading the way. She has registered a team-best 174 points and 60 rebounds. Gottschalk also leads the team with 22 steals and a .525 field goal percentage. Junior Elizabeth Doran (Corvallis, Ore.) is nearly perfect from the charity stripe with a .905 free throw percentage and is first on the team with 11 blocks.
The Spartans will host Kansas Wednesday night before taking on the Broncos on Friday. San Jose State enters the week with a 1-9 overall record. In their last outing the Spartans fell 78-72 to Washington State. Natalie White led the team with 25 points and three steams, while Emily Nichols registered 15 points on three-point field goals alone.
On the season, White is the only player on SJSU's squad to hit triple-figure points. She currently average 16.5 points per game and has started in all 10 contests. She also leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game. Brittany Powell is second on the team in points, rebounds and leads the squad with 13 blocked shots. She is also the most consistent from the field with an even .500 field goal percentage.
Santa Clara owns a 24-20 record in the series against San Jose State. The original series dates back to the 1963-64 season. The Broncos have won the last 15 of 16 contests starting in the 1990-91 season.
Since the initiation of the Rivalry Series in 2002, the Broncos have gone 4-1 against the Spartans in women's basketball action.
The Broncos will take a break for the holidays and return to the court on Dec. 29 against the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara University and San Jose State University have teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank to create the first ever Rivalry Series Food Drive. The holiday food drive runs from Dec. 8-Jan. 7 in conjunction with the home-and-home series between the universities' men's basketball teams.
Food collection bins and coin jars will be available at all Santa Clara men's and women's home basketball games from Wednesday, Dec. 8-Monday, Jan. 7 to collect donations. The Broncos play at San Jose State on Dec. 8 and then host the Spartans at the Leavey Center on Jan. 7. Fans donating at least six dollars or two (full serving) canned good items will be given a 2-for-1 coupon to purchase general admission tickets for the Jan. 7 game. For more information, click here. (http://santaclarabroncos.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/120507aaa.html)
Senior Gottschalk was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week it was announced Monday. The senior forward's game-high 25 points lifted the Broncos to a 79-72 victory over Cal Poly in their lone contest last week. This is Gottschalk's first-ever weekly honor.
Against Cal Poly, Gottschalk posted her seventh game with double-figure points, while also leading the game with eight rebounds and four steals. She also dished out four assists. The Littleton, Colo., native currently leads the Broncos in scoring and rebounding as she averages 17.4 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game. She also leads the team with 22 steals and a .525 field goal percentage. Thus far this season, Gottschalk has set personal bests in three-point field goals, free throws and steals.
Santa Clara's starting five have proven to be quite consistent for the Broncos, posting a 6-2 record when Chandice Cronk (Wasilla, Alaska), Gottschalk, Doran, Sara Majors (Aumsville, Ore.) and Walker take the court at tip off.
Three Broncos have already reached triple-figure points with 10 games under their belt. Seniors Gottschalk and Cronk, along with junior Doran's total scoring makes up more than one and a half times the team's total points thus far.
Gottschalk reached triple digits on Nov. 25 when she posted a game-high 26 points against Long Beach State. She currently leads the team with 174 points. Cronk joined Gottschalk on Dec. 8 against Sacramento State when she registered a career-high 33 points. Cronk is currently ranked second on the team with 160 points. Doran was the last to join the triple digit club as she tallied 14 points against Cal Poly last week. The junior guard now has 113 points this season.
In The WCC:
As of Dec. 17, Santa Clara moved into the No. 1 spot in the conference with a 7-3 overall record. As a team, the Broncos continue to hold first place in three-point field goal percentage. SCU is second in scoring defense and field goal percentage, and third in free throw percentage. The Broncos are also tied fourth in assists and steals per game.
Individually, six players are ranked in nine different statistical categories. This week Cronk holds onto her No. 2 spot and No. 6 spot, respectively, in three-point field goals made and scoring. Senior Walker remains in third place in assists per game and drops to No. 4 in steals per game this week. She also claims the No. 8 spot in defensive rebounds.
Doran holds onto a No. 2 ranking in three-point field goal percentage and is third in 3FGs made. She also ranks seventh in blocked shots. Gottschalk also holds onto her fourth place ranking in scoring. She moved up to No. 7 in field goal percentage, and is ranked fifth in steals. Gottschalk also claims the No. 5 spot in three-point field goal percentage and the No. 6 spot in free throw percentage. Despite not seeing action in the past two contests, freshman Nicole Gall (Boise, Idaho) held onto her third place ranking in three-point field goal percentage. Sara Majors rounds out the team leaders with a No. 7 ranking in assists per game.
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. 16 Free-Throw PCT - No. 45 Field-Goal PCT - No. 56 Won-Lost PCT - No. 76 Assists per game - No. 79
Individually, junior Doran moves up to spots to No. 6 in three-point field goal percentage, while she and Cronk switch spots in three-point goals per game. Gottschalk also moved up to No. 64 this week in points per game from her 92nd ranking last week. Her field goal percentage also climbed to No. 59 overall this week from No. 76 last week. Walker holds steady at No. 34 in assists per game and No. 90 in steals per game.
The Broncos hold an all-time mark of 260-140 (.650) 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. Last year's Broncos went 7-7 at the Leavey Center, and 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.