February 19, 2009

Women's Hoops Hosts USF In PinkZone Game

Feb. 19, 2009

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    SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team returns to the court for its final home game of the 2008-09 regular season on Saturday, Feb. 21. The Broncos will host the Dons of San Francisco in their annual PinkZone game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

    Follow Your Broncos Online
    Fans cans watch and listen to this week's game via Bronco All-Access as Sam Farber will be calling the play-by-play action on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Live stats through GameTracker will also be available online.

    Bronco Watch
    SCU enters the weekend with a 2-24 overall record and looking for WCC win No. 1 with a 0-11 mark. Lena Gipson leads the team with 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. She also owns a 48.8 FG%. Doran is 88.9% from the charity stripe and 30.9% from behind the arc. Majors has dished out 78 assists thus far and is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per game.

    Last Time Out
    The Broncos went 0-2 last weekend falling to the Waves and Lions in WCC action. Against Pepperdine, Majors posted 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds for SCU. Santa Clara lead 41-31 with 12:44 to play in the second half, but Pepperdine posted a 23-4 that gave the Waves a 54-45 lead with 2:45 remaining. Against LMU, Alyssa Shoji had a solid game with a career-high 18 points and three steals. Despite an early 7-0 lead, the Lions knotted the score and went on a 23-3 run to take a 30-15 advantage in the first half. The Broncos were unable to catch up and lost their 11th straight game. It's the program's longest losing streak since the 1977-78 season.

    Senior Night
    The Broncos will honor their three graduating seniors - Elizabeth Doran, Claire Goins and Sara Majors - in a pregame ceremony on Saturday as the trio plays their last game on the court of the Leavey Center. Doran has had a tremendous athletic and academic career at Santa Clara. She holds the record for single season free throw percentage (.907 - 07-08) and has earned four academic honors, twice being named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII first team. As a junior, she compiled a personal and team-best 21 game streak in which she made at least one three-pointer. Goins earned nine starts this season and has seen action in all 26 games for the Broncos. Majors has started in all 26 games this season and has made quite the impact on the boards. She is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per game and is ranked No. 9 in the WCC.

    Gipson Makes Mark In Record Books
    The sophomore forward has entered her first single-season category as a Bronco. With 257 rebounds, she takes over the No. 7 spot this week from Kendra Rhea's '03 senior season mark of 243 (2002-03). Gipson is just four rebounds shy of passing Liz Bruno's sophomore season and Jen Gottschalk's senior season of 260 boards.

    Nationally
    The Broncos jumped up one spot to a No. 6 ranking in the nation 3FG defense this week. SCU has held its opponents to a .258 three-point field goal percentage. Santa Clara is also No. 90 in field goal defense, holding its opponents to a 37.7 percentage. Individually, Gipson holds onto No. 22 in rebounds per game.

    Off The Boards
    For the ninth straight week, Gipson leads the West Coast Conference in rebounds. She averages a league-best 9.9 per game. She ranks No. 1 in rebounds and No. 1 in defensive rebounds with 7.15 per game.

    In The WCC
    Overall, the Broncos lead the WCC in three-point field goal percentage defense and rebounding defense, and are second in field goal percentage defense. In conference games only, SCU continues to lead the WCC in 3FG% defense (.242), and is second in FG% defense (.367), 3FG percentage (.326) and rebounding defense (34.6).

    Individually in WCC games only, Shoji holds on to the No. 1 spot in 3FG% (.513) and is ranked No. 2 in 3FGs made (1.82). Rhianna Faithfull checks in at No. 10 in assists and Maggie Goldenberger is No. 5 in FG%. Doran is No. 4 in 3FGs made and is No. 7 in 3FG%. Majors checks in at No. 4 in defensive rebounds and in rebounding, and No. 9 in FT%. Gipson rounds out the leaders at No. 2 in rebounding and defensive rebounds, No. 7 in scoring, No. 9 in offensive rebounds and No. 10 in FG%.

    Scouting San Francisco
    The Dons enter the single-game weekend with a 6-19 overall record and a 2-9 WCC record. USF will look to snap its four-game losing streak against the Broncos this Saturday. Last weekend, USF faced two tough losses at Portland (79-41) and Gonzaga (71-35). Shay Rollins led the team's scoring with 10 points against the Pilots and a game-high 20 points against the Zags. DONS TO WATCH: Rollins - 16.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 59 a, 51 stl; Rheina Ale - 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 27 stl, 52 a, 38.9 FG%; Danesha Wright - 9.4 ppg, 22 stl, 78.8 FT%.

    Last Time vs. USF
    The Broncos and Dons last met on Jan. 24 in San Francisco with Pepperdine edging Santa Clara 48-45. The Broncos led 23-16 at half time after jumping to a quick 15-4 lead seven minutes into the contest. The Broncos continued to widen the gap in the second half but the Dons produced a 13-0 run that gave them a two-point lead, 33-31. Despite knotting the score, 45-45, in the final minute of play, USF held on to win off of free throws.

    All-Time vs. USF
    Saturday's game marks the 78th meeting of the two teams. Santa Clara leads the series 43-34.

    On Deck
    Santa Clara takes to the road for the final regular-season weekend. The Broncos take on the Bulldogs of Gonzaga on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in Spokane, Wash. SCU then faces Portland in the regular-season finale on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in Portland, Ore.