January 6, 2009

Broncos Host Gaels In WCC Opener This Thursday

Jan. 6, 2009

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    SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team opens West Coast Conference action this week against long-time rival Saint Mary's on Thursday, Jan. 8. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. The Broncos then travel to SoCal to take on the Toreros of San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 10. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

    Follow Your Broncos Online
    Santa Clara fans can watch and listen to all the action with play-by-play announcer Sam Farber via www.SantaClaraBroncos.com for all home games this season. The Broncos will also have live audio via the website for all WCC road games as well. On Saturday, the Toreros will offer live stats via Gametracker and a live video stream. Visit www.usdtoreos.com and clock the LIVE button on the top right of the page.

    Last Time Out
    Santa Clara opened 2009 with a huge "W" against cross-country rivals San Jose State on Jan. 3. The Broncos earned the 56-39 win with help from four who scored in double-digits. Kathy Willinsky had a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds, while Sara Majors and Elizabeth Doran added 12 points. Lena Gipson chipped in with 10 points. The Broncos gained the early lead and never looked back as they led 26-15 at the half. The closest the Spartans were able to get was 8-points, but SCU climbed to an 18-point lead on three occasions to remain on top.

    Bronco Watch
    Claire Goins remains at the No. 1 spot with a 52.8 FG%. Gipson continues to lead the team in points and rebounds, averaging a double-double with 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. She has registered double-doubles in 10 of the Broncos' 15 games. Majors and Doran own the team-best 35.0 3FG percentage, while Majors had dished out 49 assists and Doran has an 87.0 FT%.

    11 Straight For Doran
    Doran made it 11 straight games in which she has sunk at least one three-pointer against San Jose State Saturday night. Both of the Broncos 3FGs came from Doran. She also ranks No. 91 in the nation in 3FG percentage. Santa Clara has 62 three-pointers thus far.

    Off The Boards
    For the six straight week, Gipson leads the West Coast Conference in rebounds. She averages a league-best 10.5 per game. She ranks No. 1 in rebounds and No. 1 in defensive rebounds with 7.47 per game.

    Bronco Blogging
    Fans can get an insiders look at the SCU Women's Basketball season via a weekly blog feature on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Seniors Doran and Majors will blog about the preseason and in season antics of the Broncos, while junior Kimee Goeggel will cover the after the season happenings.

    Under the Bright Lights
    The Broncos second home game of the West Coast Conference schedule against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga will be featured on live national television on CBS College Sports. The game time is slated for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. Please check local listings for channels.

    Scouting Saint Mary's
    The Gaels enter conference play with a 4-11 overall record. SMC is 1-7 on the road this season and has one three of their last five games. In their last outing, the Gaels edged the Tigers of Pacific, 71-70. Maija Lahde led the game with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Alex Carbonel added 10 points for SMC. Saint Mary's trailed 30-23 at the half and scored 48 points in the second half to gain the lead and earn the win. GAELS TO WATCH: Louella Tomlinson - 13.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 81 Blk; Lahde - 11.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 18 Stl.

    Last Time vs. Saint Mary's
    Saint Mary's won both meeting in the 2007-08 season. In the conference opener, the Gaels edged the Broncos 74-71. Majors had 13 points for the Broncos. One month later, in Moraga, the Broncos fell 65-54. Majors scored 18 points and Doran had 15 points in the outing.

    All-Time vs. Saint Mary's
    Thursday's game marks the 54th meeting of the two programs in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. Santa Clara owns the series with a 32-21 record, yet Saint Mary's has won the last three meetings.

    Scouting San Diego
    The Toreros will host the Dons of San Francisco on Thursday before battling the Broncos. USD has a 9-5 overall record and is 6-2 at home this season. The Toreros have won their last 5 of 7 games and ride a three-game win streak into the start of WCC play. In its last outing, USD defeated LIU, 69-54, to win the 2008 Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic. Dominique Conners and Amber Sprague had 16 points each, while Emily Hatch posted 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. TOREROS TO WATCH: Kiva Herman - 18.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 10 Blk, 11 Stl; Sprague - 16.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 42 Blk, 17 Stl; Conners - 7.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 12 Stl.

    Last Time vs. San Diego
    The Broncos and Toreros met three times last season. During the regular season, they split with each team winning on their respective home courts. SCU slipped past USD on Jan. 24 with a 66-64 score that was decided on two free throws after a Torero team technical foul. On Feb. 21, USD responded with a 66-53 victory in San Diego. The two teams met again in the semifinals of the WCC Championships, with San Diego winning 72-66.

    All-Time vs. San Diego
    Saturday's game marks the 53rd meeting of the two programs in which the Broncos own the series 30-22. USD has won the last 6 of 10 meetings.

    On Deck
    Santa Clara returns home to host Gonzaga and Portland on Jan. 15 and Jan. 17, respectively. Thursday's game against the Bulldogs will put first-year head coach Jennifer Mountain against her alma mater in an nationally television. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on CBS College Sports. The Broncos and Pilots will then face-off on Saturday with a 2 p.m. game.