December 27, 2009

Broncos Face RMU, Nationally Ranked West Virginia

Dec. 27, 2009

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

SANTA CLARA (2-10) @ ROBERT MORRIS (5-5)
Monday, December 28 - 4 p.m. PT
Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) - Moon Township, Pa.

SANTA CLARA @ #21 WEST VIRGINIA (11-1)
Wednesday, December 30 - 4 p.m. PT
WVU Coliseum (14,000) - Morgantown, W. Va.

GAMES #13/14: Santa Clara travels to the Pittsburgh area for a Monday night game with Northeast Conference member Robert Morris. On Wednesday night SCU will play at No. 21 West Virginia. Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Robert Morris will broadcast Monday's game live on its official athletics website (rmucolonials.com) for a small fee. Additionally, free live scoring will be available via (rmuathletics.com). When SCU plays West Virginia, live stats and a live video web stream can be accessed via (MSNsportsNET.com), the official site of the Mountaineers.

GAME NOTES:
# Jennifer Mountain is in her second season as Santa Clara head coach
# Five of Santa Clara's 10 losses have come by 8 points or less
# The Broncos are a young team; 12 of 16 players on the roster are underclassmen
# Freshman SG Meagan Fulps (11.1 ppg) is scoring 15.7 ppg in the last six
# Sophomore PG Alyssa Shoji (13.5 ppg) has made 3+ threes 8 times
# All-WCC forward Lena Gipson (13.5 ppg/10.3 rpg) ranks #29 nationally in rebounding
# Senior starter Maggie Goldenberger has missed the last two games (INJ ankle)
# Santa Clara is finishing its non-conference schedule by playing 7-of-9 on the road
# SCU is 1-5 away from home, being outscored 77-61 per game
# Santa Clara has already played @ Minnesota, Oregon and Iowa
# Both SCU and Robert Morris enter Monday's game having lost three straight
# Robert Morris was picked to finish fourth in the 12-team Northeast Conference (NEC)
# The Colonials are 63-13 at the Sewall Center in the last six seasons
# West Virginia broke into the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll on December 14
# WVU made the WNIT last season, finishing 18-15, which included a 72-54 road win over Santa Clara
# The Mountaineers allow just 48.6 ppg, ranking #6 nationally in scoring defense as of Dec. 20
# WVU is 51-3 all-time at home in non-conference play under head coach Mike Carey
# 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 host San Jose State Saturday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m., then its West Coast Conference opener Friday, Jan. 8 @ San Diego

SANTA CLARA: The Broncos are coming off a disappointing 63-55 home loss to Cal Poly SLO just prior to the holiday break after closing to within one in the final seconds. It marked the first time since the 1981-82 season that Santa Clara lost to its regional rival. Second-year head coach Jennifer Mountain is trying to return Santa Clara to its past form where the team was a perennial WCC Championship contender, last winning the league title and going to the WNIT in 2005-06. Mountain has brought-in some of the league's most talented players in transfer F Lena Gipson (averaging a double-double), PG Alyssa Shoji (#27 nationally in 3PT FG pg) and SG Meagan Fulps (the WCC's top freshman scorer). The team's lone senior starter Maggie Goldenberger (INJ ankle) has been out with injury, limiting the depth of a team that had already lost F Becky Goll (INJ knee) for the season and G Telisha Anderson (INJ ankle) until February.

ROBERT MORRIS: The Colonials dropped a 58-57 decision to Morehead State Dec. 20, the first of a four-game homestand which continues against Santa Clara on Monday. RMU was 13-18 last season and 9-9 in the NEC. The team has reached the 70-point mark just twice this season, in home wins over Akron (74-67) and Wagner (74-62) and averages 61.8 points per night. The RMU offense goes through senior guard Angela Pace (15.3 ppg). Pace leads the team in scoring and distributes 5.3 assists p/g while only turning the ball over 20 times all year. The Colonials are 4-2 at home.

WEST VIRGINIA: Ninth-year head coach Mike Carey has WVU ranked among the nation's best teams. The Mountaineers have reeled-off nine straight wins after losing to Ohio State (92-69) Nov. 19 on the road. During the run, WVU beat Iowa (69-66) on a neutral court, then a series of lopsided home victories, most recently beating UMBC 79-45. WVU has four players scoring in double-figures and are limiting its opponents to just 48.6 points per game. WVU is hoping to improve on a 5-11 finish last season in the BIG EAST when its conference season begins at St. John's on Jan. 2.

THE SERIES: Robert Morris and Santa Clara have never met. West Virginia led Santa Clara 29-23 at halftime last season in the Leavey Center and went on to win 72-54. It was the only meeting between the two schools. Lena Gipson had one of her 19 double-doubles but Liz Repella made four 3s and scored a game high 23 points for WVU.

LAST TIME OUT: All-Big West forward Kristina Santiago overcame early foul trouble to score 21 points and lead visiting Cal Poly SLO to a 63-55 victory over Santa Clara. Brittany Lange's 3 with 39 seconds left extended a tentative one-point advantage to four and Cal Poly (6-4) made the necessary free throws in the closing seconds to win on the road. In a game that was close throughout, Santa Clara (2-10) erased an eight-point deficit in the final 2:24 to pull within one, 56-55, on Kathy Willinsky's layup with 1:06 remaining. SCU's Lena Gipson - one of the nation's top rebounders - registered 14 boards and freshman guard Meagan Fulps scored 16 points. Cal Poly led 27-26 at halftime despite Santiago picking up three early fouls and playing just nine minutes in the first half.

RECENT RESULTS/UPCOMING GAMES:
W, 74-69 @ Pacific (12/13)
L, 91-41 @ Minnesota (12/16)
L, 75-67 @ Boise State (12/19)
L, 63-55 vs. CAL POLY (12/22)
@ Robert Morris (12/28)
@ West Virginia (12/30)
SAN JOSE STATE (1/2)
@ San Diego (1/8)

NEXT HOME GAME: Santa Clara hosts Silicon Valley rival San Jose State Saturday, January 2 at 7 p.m. The cross-town showdown will be `Get Fit Night' at the Leavey Center. The Coleman Avenue Jamba Juice is the game's featured sponsor.

TICKETS: The SCU athletics department is offering a series of ticket specials for the 14-game home schedule. Season ticket packages start at just $50 for adults and $25 for youth and seniors. Season ticket reserved seating is new for 2009-10 and is being offered at the low price of $75 for the entire season. To purchase tickets or for more information contact 408-554-4660.