Jan. 13, 2010
PEPPERDINE (10-5) @ SANTA CLARA (2-15)
Thursday, January 14 - 7 p.m.
Leavey Center (5,100) - Santa Clara, CA
LMU (7-8)* @ SANTA CLARA
Saturday, January 16 - 2 p.m.
Leavey Center (5,100) - Santa Clara, CA
WATCH LIVE: SANTACLARABRONCOS.COM!
GAMES #18/19: The Broncos play their WCC home-opener Thursday, January 14 against Pepperdine. It's National Junior Basketball (NJB) Night at the Leavey center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. LMU will visit Santa Clara on Saturday, January 16 at 2 p.m.
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Fans can watch both games this weekend live on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Sam Farber (play-by-play) will be calling the action courtside from the Leavey Center. Additionally, free live scoring will be available via GAMETRACKER on SantaClaraBroncos.com.
GAME PROMOTIONS: Working through the `Bronco Community Challenge' - which uses SCU basketball as the venue to strengthen the sense of community in the South Bay area - West San Jose's youth league received $1 tickets. Thursday game with Pepperdine is being billed as National Junior Basketball (NJB) Night. It's `Bronco Pride Night' Saturday, when fans are encouraged to wear red and green. Santa Clara University's Green Club will be promoting sustainability and RecycleMania (a 10-week intercollegiate competition to reduce waste).
# Jennifer Mountain is in her second season as Santa Clara head coach
# The Broncos are trying to snap an eight-game losing streak
# Despite leading the WCC in 3-pointers per game (6.6), SCU's scoring average has slipped below 60 at 59.9
# Santa Clara's All-WCC forward Lena Gipson ranks No. 4 in the NCAA and leads the league with 9 double-doubles
# Gipson is leading the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg) for the second straight year
# SCU's young backcourt combination of PG Alyssa Shoji and SG Meagan Fulps account for 42.4 % of the Broncos' offense
# Shoji leads the WCC and ranks 28th nationally in 3PT shooting (2.8 3FG pg)
# Fulps has scored in double-figures in 9-of-11 games, and is the top freshman scorer in the WCC (11.8 ppg)
# The Broncos are coming off two road losses (@ USD and @ SMC)
# Pepperdine has won 8-of-10 and routed LMU 82-65 at home on Saturday
# Four of Pepperdine's five losses have come on the road
# LMU allowed 49 first-half points in its recent loss at Pepperdine
# The Lions have won road games at UCSB, LBST, SJSU, and CS Fullerton
# Both Pepperdine and LMU finished in the top half of the WCC last season
# Santa Clara prides itself on its community service activities and academic excellence. The team currently owns a 3.2 combined GPA
# LOOKING AHEAD: The Broncos have just one game on the schedule next week, a rivalry game with USF, Saturday, January 23 at 2 p.m.
SANTA CLARA: It's been a tale of two halves for the Broncos as of late. Santa Clara led USD by five at halftime Friday and played St. Mary's close for 25 minutes Sunday, before allowing big runs to both teams en route to starting WCC play 0-2. Santa Clara is 1-6 at home, losing twice at the buzzer. The team is extremely young. 11 of the 15 players are underclassmen. Second-year head coach Jennifer Mountain and her staff have seen sophomore point guard Alyssa Shoji emerge as the best perimeter shooter in the WCC and one of the best nationally. Highly coveted recruit Meagan Fulps - who committed to Santa Clara after being named Colorado's Class 5A `Player of the Year' last season - is the league's top-scoring rookie. One of Mountain's first signees, All-WCC forward Lena Gipson, ranks as one of the NCAA's preeminent post players.
PEPPERDINE: The Waves are playing its best basketball of the year, winning 5-of-6 to improve to 10-5 overall. No Pepperdine player averages more than 6.5 rebounds per game and the team shoots just .373 percent from the floor, but the Waves' take care of the ball, leading the WCC in turnovers, limiting its giveaways to 16 per night. Senior Miranda Ayim - a two-time All-WCC First Team post player - continues to lead the team in scoring (14.5 ppg). The Waves were 16-13 overall and 9-5 in the WCC last season in head coach Julie Rousseau's fifth year.
LMU: The Lions have alternated wins and losses all but twice this year and own a 7-8 record heading into the weekend. Julie Wilhiot - now in her 15th season as head coach - has led the Lions to six-straight top tier finishes in the WCC. Last year's Lions team went 18-12 overall and return its top two players in sophomore wing Alex Cowling 14.5 ppg) junior guard Renahy Young (14.1 ppg). The Lions will play at USF Thursday before playing SCU Saturday afternoon.
THE SERIES: Both Pepperdine and LMU swept the regular season series with Santa Clara in 2008-09. The Broncos played a pair of close games against the Waves, losing 51-48 in Malibu and 59-49 at the Leavey Center - a game Santa Clara led 31-22 at the half. LMU established a 35-21 halftime lead last season in the Leavey Center and held on to win 71-58. SCU is 17-10 against Pepperdine at the Leavey Center and 7-6 against LMU. The all-time series is also led by the Broncos, 39-16 vs. LMU and 30-27 vs. Pepperdine.
LAST TIME OUT: St. Mary's scored 19 unanswered points in the second half to blow open a close game and hand Santa Clara its eighth-straight loss, 83-55. Santa Clara (2-15; 0-2 WCC) freshman guard Meagan Fulps scored 19 points to lead the Broncos. One of her three 3s kept SCU within striking distance early in the second half. Backcourt teammate Alyssa Shoji added 13. St. Mary's (11-6; 2-0 WCC) has a chance to start its WCC season 3-0 for the first time since 2003-04 if they can beat preseason league favorite Gonzaga on Thursday. Louella Tomlinson - coming off a career-high 35 points in Friday night's win over USF - was one of five Gaels in double-figures, scoring a game-high 18 and pulling down 12 rebounds. The Gaels built up a 20-point lead, 55-35, with just under 13 minutes left after leading by just six at halftime. Kate Gaze scored nine consecutive points during the 19-0 run, connecting on two 3s and completing an old-fashioned 3-point play which put the game out of reach. Gaze finished with 15 points, going 7-for-7 from the free throw line. By the time Fulps scored with 10:58 to play, the Broncos found themselves down 60-37.
"You can't lose sight of the big picture," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain, who won just four games in her first season at SCU. "It takes a lot of patience. We are growing as a group and as a team. If we don't have patience with this thing, we won't get to where we want to be."
"It's not the way we all expected it to be," says sophomore point guard and floor leader Alyssa Shoji when asked about the current season's results. "But (Coach Mountain) is trying to make us aware that where we are right now, and where we will be, are two different places."
WCC STANDINGS: T1. St. Mary's (2-0; 11-6) T1. USD (2-0; 10-6) T3. Gonzaga (1-0; 12-4) T3. Pepperdine (1-0; 10-5) T5. Portland (0-1; 11-5) T5. LMU (0-1; 7-8) T7. Santa Clara (0-2; 2-15) T7. USF (0-2; 4-15)
SCU & WCC LEADERS: Scoring: 9th- Shoji (13.6)/15th-Gipson (12.2)... Rebounding: T1st- Gipson (9.9)... FG%: 6th- Gipson (.521)... Assists: 6th- Shoji (3.1)... 3FG: 1st- Shoji (2.8)/7th- Fulps (1.6)... 3PT %: 9th-Shoji (.346)... Assist-Turn Ratio: 7th-Shoji (0.7)... Blocks: 9th- Gipson (0.6)... Offensive Rebounds: 1st- Gipson (3.2)... Minutes: 2nd-Shoji (35.8)/8th- Fulps (31.9)/9th- Gipson (31.6)
NCAA LEADERS: Double-Doubles: 4th - Gipson (9)... Rebounding: 27th- Gipson (9.9)... 3FG: 28th- Shoji (2.8)
RECENT RESULTS/UPCOMING GAMES:
L, 78-55 @ West Virginia (12/30)
L, 75-64 vs. SAN JOSE STATE (1/2)
L, 60-44 @ San Diego (1/8)
L, 83-55 @ St. Mary's 1/10)
@ Gonzaga (1/28)
`NO-KNEE': Santa Clara star forward Lena Gipson has undergone five unsuccessful knee surgeries since tearing her ACL early in her senior season at Fresno's San Joaquin Memorial High School. To this day she plays without an ACL in her left knee. Gipson originally attended Arizona State University before transferring to Fresno City College, where she was an All-America player as a redshirt freshman prior to attending Santa Clara.
IN THE COMMUNITY: Santa Clara University has a unique relationship with the community in the Bay Area. Through its affiliation with BAWSI (Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative), the Broncos have been afforded the opportunity to aid in the development of young girls as individuals and athletes. Bronco student-athletes spend time each week mentoring young girls at local elementary schools.
NEXT HOME GAME: The Broncos have just one game on the schedule next week, a rivalry game with USF, Saturday, January 23, 2010. It will be `Bay Area Pro Sports Jersey Night.' Support the Broncos and our local professional teams! Wear a local pro team's jersey to the game and get in FREE!
TICKETS: The SCU athletics department is offering a series of ticket specials To purchase tickets or for more information contact 408-554-4660.
*LMU will play at San Francisco Thursday, Jan. 14