Santa Clara Women Play USF Saturday at 2 p.m. in War Memorial Gym
Video: Player Correspondent Piece With Meagan Fulps
Game Notes in PDF Format
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On Saturday against USF, Santa Clara looks to extend a string of winning 4 of 6 and start conference play with a win. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Don's War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. It marks the 81st meeting between the two local schools – the longest rivalry in Santa Clara's women's basketball history.
A FREE audio broadcast will be available on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Michael Spero (play-by-play) will provide the audio courtside from San Francisco. Fans can also view a free live video stream and live stats at USFDons.com.
- Santa Clara is led by third year head coach Jennifer Mountain
- Saturday's game marks the WCC opener for both teams
- The Broncos (4-10) have won 4 of 6
- The Dons (3-11) have lost 8 of 9
- SCU is coming off two straight road wins, at Cal Poly and SJSU
- SCU is playing 10 of its first 15 on the road
- Sunday's game will be the 81st meeting between the two local schools (USF leads the all-time series 45-35)
- SCU and USF split the season series last year, each winning at home
- Santa Clara senior forward Lena Gipson ranks No. 10 nationally in rebounding (11.4 rpg), she is also the WCC leader
- SCU was 9 of 20 from 3-point range in a recent win at Cal Poly
- Freshman Ricki Radanovich had 19 points Sunday at SJSU, the Diablo, Calif. native is averaging 12.6 points in the last five games
- The Dons have a new head coach, recent Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer Azzi
- USF is 1-5 at home this season vs. Division I teams, beating SJSU 71-59 back on November 15
- USF is being outscored by 14 points per game this year, most recently losing an overtime game at home against Mount St. Mary's 79-77 on New Year's Eve
- The game between SCU and USF, two Jesuits schools, is one of more than 90 games that will be played this season as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS)
- UP NEXT: The Broncos WCC schedule brings San Diego (Thursday, Jan. 13) and St. Mary's (Saturday, Jan. 15) to the Leavey Center next week
The Broncos (4-10) are playing some of their best basketball of the year heading into Saturday's West Coast Conference opener at USF. Third year head coach Jennifer Mountain has seen true freshman guard and Bay Area native, Ricki Radanovich, post double-figures in scoring 4 of the last 5 outings. Sophomore guard Meagan Fulps (11.3 ppg) is the team's leading scorer and All-WCC senior forward Lena Gipson is averaging a double-double. Santa Clara has a chance to win three-straight for the first time this season and the first time since January of 2008. Santa Clara was picked to finish 7th in the WCC preseason poll, USF was picked to finish 8th.
"We have momentum going into conference, we've won four out of our last six," said Mountain after SCU's comeback win over SJSU Sunday. "We have to get ready to play San Francisco next Saturday at their place. We are doing some things better, we are taking better shots; I really don't think today was an indication of where we are at."
The Dons (3-11) started the year 2-3 under new head coach Jennifer Azzi, which included wins over San Jose State (71-59) and Rhode Island (87-76). Since, the Dons have won just once in their last nine games. Azzi is trying to revive a USF program that last won WCC tournament titles in the mid 90's and hasn't enjoyed a winning season since 2002. Preseason All-WCC guard Rheina Ale is scoring 7.4 points per game for a USF team which scores 61.9 points on average. Like Santa Clara, USF has struggled shooting the ball at times this year, making just 36 percent of their shots and 28 percent from 3-point range.
THE SERIES WITH USF
USF and Santa Clara women's basketball will meet for the 81st time in the longstanding series, the longest in SCU history. USF holds the edge in the all-time series 45-35. USF has won the last four meetings in San Francisco, including a 58-52 decision the last time they met, Feb. 20, 2010.
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)
LENA GIPSON RANKS 10th NATIONALLY IN REBOUNDING
Santa Clara's Lena Gipson has not only become one of the best rebounders in Bronco history but the senior from Hanford, California ranks No. 10 among all NCAA players this season, averaging 11.4 per game.
"A lot of planning and calculating," says Gipson, who at 6-foot tall is rarely the biggest player on the court. "I think a lot of basketball is mental. Being aware of what is going on in the play; reading your teammates and the opponents in the flow of the game. I know when the three-point shooters are going to shoot. I look at that a lot to get early position and push some of the bigger players out further."
WCC STANDINGS (Jan. 4)
Team - WCC - Overall
Gonzaga - 0-0 - 13-3
San Diego - 0-0 - 9-4
Pepperdine - 0-0 - 9-5
Portland - 0-0 - 9-6
St. Mary's - 0-0 - 8-7
Loyola Marymount - 0-0 - 6-8
Santa Clara - 0-0 - 4-10
San Francisco - 0-0 - 3-11
LAST TIME OUT
Santa Clara turned up its defensive pressure in the second half, using a 9-0 run to pull ahead of San Jose State and defeat the Spartans 44-37 in the annual city rivalry match up between the two South Bay schools. In a low-scoring game that saw the teams combine to shoot 28 percent (30 for 104) from the floor and with SCU trailing by four in the second half, 35-31, Bronco head coach Jennifer Mountain directed her team to press. The decisive run ensued. Ricki Radanovich and Alyssa Shoji made 3s and Telisha Anderson's drive changed the game, putting the Broncos in front 40-35 with 6:54 left. Radanovich finished with 19 points to lead all scorers. The press continued until the final horn. Santa Clara (4-10) never relinquished the lead, holding San Jose State (0-13) scoreless for the final six minutes.
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.
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).
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.
BAY AREA BRONCOS
When Jennifer Mountain was hired as Santa Clara University's women's basketball head coach in April of 2008, the program was void of a single player from a Bay Area High School. This season SCU's roster will boast four Bay Area players. All three of the Broncos' incoming freshmen starred at local high schools: sophomore transfer Lindsay Leo (Archbishop Mitty), Ricki Radanovich (Carondelet), Iman Scott (Archbishop Mitty) and Arteivia Lilomaiava (Aragon). "There is a tremendous amount of local talent and it's a crucial element to our recruiting," says Mountain. "It's going to help with the level of our program, local pride and our fan base.
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 doubledoubles on the year, which ranked No. 23 among all NCAA players.
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.
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.