December 8, 2010

SCU Travels to Cedar City, Will Play Southern Utah Monday

Michael's Minutes: Final's Week on the SCU Campus
Game Notes in PDF Format

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On Monday, December 13, Santa Clara finishes an early-season stretch of playing 6 of 8 on the road. Southern Utah will be the opponent in Cedar City. The game will tip at 12 noon (MT), 11 a.m. (PT).  The Broncos then return home to begin a three-game homestand. SCU will play Pacific Thursday night, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Game Notes - Week #6 Dec. 12-18, 2010
SANTA CLARA @ SOUTHERN UTAH

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 • 11 a.m. (PT)
Game #8 • Road Game #6 • Cedar City, Utah
Live Video | Live Stats

PACIFIC @ SANTA CLARA

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 • 7 p.m.
Game #9 • Home Game #3 • Santa Clara, Calif.
Live Video | Live Stats

LIVE COVERAGE

On Monday, live stats and video stream at SUUTBIRDS.com and online radio via 91.1 FM and www.suu.edu/hss/comm/ksuu/webcast.html. On Thursday, live stats and a FREE video broadcast on SantaClaraBroncos.com. A three-camera production will be streamed with Michael Spero (play-by-play) providing the audio.

GAME NOTES

  • Santa Clara is led by third year head coach Jennifer Mountain
  • The Broncos are playing 6 of 8 on the road to begin the year
  • Lena Gipson leads the WCC in rebounding (10.9) and ranks 18th in the NCAA
  • Gipson became the fourth player in SCU history to reach 700 rebounds after grabbing 15 against Sac State last time out
  • Gipson's 9 offensive rebounds against Sac State was a career-high
  • Gipson needs just 9 more rebounds to be No. 2 all-time at SCU
  • Alyssa Shoji is now 7th all-time at SCU in 3PT FG made (136), needing six more to move into the top 5
  • Santa Clara is having trouble scoring, averaging 55.4 points per game
  • SCU defeated Southern Utah 97-62 at the Leavey Center on Jan. 4, 1997 – the only other meeting
  • Former SCU assistant coach J.R. Payne is in her second season coaching at SUU
  • The Thunderbirds went 7-23 last season (6-8 at home)
  • SUU is picked to finish seventh in the 2010-11 Summit League preseason poll
  • Thursday's game will be the 40th all-time meeting between Pacific and SCU (SCU leads 24-15)
  • Santa Clara beat Pacific 74-69 last season in Stockton
  • UP NEXT: Thursday's game against Pacific is the first of three-straight at home, with Seattle (Sunday, Dec. 19) and Oregon (Tuesday, Dec. 21) coming up.

SANTA CLARA
The well-traveled Broncos (0-7) have already played in Greeley, Boulder, Bakersfield, Vermillion and Wichita this season. Cedar City is the next stop. Still searching for its first win, look for Santa Clara to break out of an early-season shooting slump that has seen the team shoot just .343 percent from the floor and average a league-low 55.4 points per game. Power forward Lena Gipson has heated up as of late, averaging 14.3 points and 12.6 rebounds in the last three. All-WCC guards Alyssa Shoji and Meagan Fulps combined for six 3s Sunday in a fast-paced game against Sacramento State. The Broncos are rebounding well, pulling in 37 rebounds per night and are hoping their shots start dropping as conference play approaches – beginning January 8 at USF.

SOUTHERN UTAH

The Thunderbirds (3-5) will host Utah Valley Saturday, December 11, prior to taking on Santa Clara on Monday. The games initiates a six-game homestand for SUU. The Thunderbirds are led by former Santa Clara assistant coach J.R. Payne, who is in her second year at SSU (10-27 overall). Freshman guard Desiree Jackson scored a game-high 19 points  - one of four players to score in double-figures en route to a 69-66 Summit League victory over IPFW on Saturday (they shot 57% from the floor in the second half). SUU is picked to finish seventh in the 2010-11 Summit League preseason poll. They were 6-8 on their home floor a year ago.

PACIFIC

The Tigers (2-6) share a number of common opponents with Santa Clara. In fact, seven of the Tigers' first nine opponents this season are teams SCU will also face in their non-conference schedule or will play inside the WCC. Pacific beat Sacramento State 94-86 at home in their season-opener, lost a one-point game (79-78) to Southern Utah in Cedar City (Nov. 23) and dropped a two-point game (66-64) at home to Fresno State (Dec. 1). Pacific has dropped five straight after opening the season 2-1. They will play at USF on Saturday.

HEAD COACH JENNIFER MOUNTAIN

'JMO' became the eighth Santa Clara head women's basketball coach in April 2008. She came to the Mission Campus after serving seven seasons as the top assistant coach at Gonzaga, where she helped the Bulldogs to four-straight WCC regular season championships and one tournament crown. Her Santa Clara team ended the 2009-10 season in grand fashion at the 2010 WCC tournament in Las Vegas, winning twice to become the first No. 8 seed in tournament history to advance into the semifinals. It was the second-straight year Mountain's teams peaked when it mattered most. In her first year at Santa Clara, Mountain guided the Broncos into the WCC tournament quarterfinals. "Jen understands what Santa Clara is all about," said SCU Athletic Director Dan Coonan. "It's about competitive basketball but it's about so much more than that. Educating men and women for competence, conscience, and compassion -- that's what Santa Clara really stands for. We believe that and live that here. I think Jen is the perfect person who embodies those kinds of values."

The Jen Mountain File:
• Head Coach - Santa Clara University (2008-pres.)
• Assistant Coach- Gonzaga University (2001-08)
• Boys Head Coach - St. George's School (1994-2001)
• Amateur Player - Gonzaga University (1987-91)

LAST TIME OUT

Sacramento State and its fast-paced offense pulled away from Santa Clara Sunday afternoon, turning a tie game early in the second half into an 18-point advantage with four minutes left, beating the Broncos 78-65. The teams combined to shoot 58 three-pointers. Santa Clara's 36 attempts from beyond the arc equaled an all-time program record in the Leavey Center.

Sacramento State (3-6) – who came in averaging 80 points per game - received 24 points and eight rebounds from sophomore forward Kylie Kuhns. Santa Clara (0-7) tied the game at 43 with 16:44 left after a triple by freshman guard Ricki Radanovich. Lena Gipson led the way for SCU, posting her third straight double-double, 16 points and 15 rebounds.

WCC STANDINGS (Dec. 7)
Gonzaga (6-3)
Portland (6-3)
San Diego (5-3)
Loyola Marymount (5-4)
St. Mary's (5-4)
Pepperdine (5-5)
San Francisco (2-5)
Santa Clara (0-7)

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SHINES DURING ACADEMIC FINALS
Student-athletes at Santa Clara University have a reputation for excellence on and off the playing field, but one group in particular has truly raised the bar in academics: the Bronco women's basketball team. With a collective GPA over 3.3, it's clear that the women of SCU basketball are focused and determined in their academic pursuits and with finals in full swing this week, we wanted to know just how they do it. Click here for the full article.

ESPN RANKS SCU RECRUITING CLASS AMONG NATION'S BEST
Next year's incoming class for the Santa Clara University women's basketball program has been ranked No. 56 nationally by ESPN HoopGurlz. The Broncos and third-year head coach Jennifer Mountain announced the signing of four outstanding high school players during November's early signing period last week:

Nici Gilday of San Jose, Calif. (Presentation HS)
Vanessa Leo of San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Colleen Rooney of Centennial, Colo. (Regis Jesuit HS)
Tyler Woods of Corona, Calif. (Centennial Corona HS)

"All four of our future Broncos fit the mold of what Santa Clara is all about.  They are extremely bright young women who value education and grasp what it means to be a Bronco both on and off the court.  They are great role models and will represent Santa Clara with respect and class at all times.  I am very excited about them joining us next year and having the chance to coach them," said Mountain.

LENA GIPSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC
Lena Gipson was named to the 2010-11 West Coast Conference Preseason All-Conference Team. Gipson, a senior power forward from Hanford, Calif., is one of the most prolific rebounders in Santa Clara University history. She was one of ten players recognized on the team, which was released along with the preseason coaches' poll. Santa Clara was picked to finish seventh in the eight-team league. Gipson was named an All-WCC First Team player last season after averaging a double-double (12.6 ppg/10.0 rpg) and collecting 16 double-doubles on the year, which ranked No. 23 among all NCAA players.

DID WE MENTION IT'S FREE?

In conjunction with the West Coast Conference, fans can watch a three-camera broadcast for every basketball home game and all conference road games this season FREE of charge on SCU's official athletics website (SantaClaraBroncos.com). Additionally, Santa Clara's Michael Spero (play-by-play) will call selected non-conference road games, also FREE.

SANTA CLARA WOMEN'S HOOPS ON YOUTUBE!

Check out the latest videos and features on the Broncos on the team's official YouTube page (youtube.com/scuwbb).

TICKETS
Buy tickets online via (SantaClaraBroncos.com), or visit the Leavey Center ticket office (500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif.) or by calling directly at 408-554-4660.

WCC TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO VEGAS

The West Coast Conference will return to Las Vegas in 2011 for the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships on March 4-7. In July 2009, the WCC and Orleans Arena announced a three-year contract extension that would keep the Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena through 2012. The 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships was another successful tournament, selling out for the second consecutive year. This year's tournament will feature the same format as the previous two years, with a combined total of 14 men's and women's games over four days. Tickets for the event are now on-sale.