January 17, 2011

Road Games at GU, Portland Next for Women's Hoops

Game Notes in PDF Format

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
League favorite Gonzaga and the Pilots of Portland are next on the schedule for the Santa Clara women. The Broncos are off to a 2-1 start in WCC play. Thursday's game in Spokane will tip at 6:05 p.m. Saturday's matchup with Portland is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Game Notes Week #12 - January 16-23, 2011
SANTA CLARA @ GONZAGA

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 • 6:05 p.m.
Game #18 • Road Game #11 • Spokane, Wash.
Audio | Video | Live Stats

SANTA CLARA @ PORTLAND

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 • 2 p.m.
Game #19 • Road Game #12 • Portland, Ore.
Audio | Video | Live Stats

LIVE COVERAGE

Both games can be heard live on SantaClaraBroncos.com - FREE of charge, featuring play-by-play audio from Michael Spero. Additionally, Thursday's game will be televised locally in Spokane on SWX (a sister station of KHQ, an NBC affiliate). There will also be a subscription-based video stream available through GoZags.com and live a radio broadcast on 1050 AM the Key in Spokane. Portland will offer a FREE live video stream and live stats on PortlandPilots.com.

GAME NOTES

  • Santa Clara is led by third year head coach Jennifer Mountain
  • The Broncos are off to a 2-1 WCC start and have won 6 of 9
  • Santa Clara is coming off a close loss to SMC Saturday, 77-68
  • The Broncos have won three-straight road games
  • SCU has lost 8-straight vs. GU in Spokane
  • SCU is 4-2 in its last 6 at the Chiles Center in Portland
  • GU enters the week 15-4, 3-0 WCC
  • Portland is 9-9; 0-3 WCC
  • Lena Gipson eclipsed the 1,000-point and 800-rebound milestones in Thursday's win over San Diego
  • Gipson ranks No. 18 nationally in rebounding (10.6 pg)
  • Meagan Fulps scored a career-high 30 points Saturday vs. SMC
  • Junior Alyssa Shoji has posted 4-straight 6-assist games (career-high)
  • 9 of Santa Clara's 12 available players are underclassmen
  • The Broncos started the sesaon 0-8, losing 6 on the road
  • UP NEXT: Home games with Pepperdine (Jan. 27) and LMU (Jan. 29)

SANTA CLARA
The Broncos (6-11; 2-1 WCC) have rebounded nicely from their 0-8 start to win 6 of 9 and start WCC play with two wins – the first time SCU has started 2-0 in conference since 2001-02. The marked improvement in their play as of late has seen Santa Clara commit just 12 turnovers against USF and SMC. The defense has moved into the top half of the WCC in defense, allowing just 66.5 points per game. The starting backcourt of Meagan Fulps, Ricki Radanovich and Alyssa Shoji each rank in the league's top 10 in 3-point shooting. Power forward Lena Gipson is averaging a double-double (points-rebounds) and the team is now 3-4 on their home floor. A tough test awaits the team in the Northwest this week, with games against Gonzaga and Portland. Third year head coach Jennifer Mountain was former All-WCC player and long-time assistant coach at GU.

QUOTABLE
"We have people stepping up and making plays and playing with confidence," said Mountain after SCU beat San Diego on Thursday. "Sharing the basketball is something we've been talking about everyday, getting better movement within our offensive, inside-out. It's creating more shots for us and we're getting wide-open looks because of it."

"I thought we really battled, we played solid throughout the game but had lapses defensively late," said Fulps. "It's rough to lose when you think you played a solid game but it is going to give us more confidence going forward."

GONZAGA

The Bulldogs (15-4; 3-0 WCC) continue to be the team to beat in the WCC. The Zags ran the table in the WCC (14-0) last season and is an eye-popping 80-7 vs. league teams spanning the last six years. Eleventh-year head coach Kelly Graves is armed with reigning two-time league Player of the Year and All-American Courtney Vandersloot, who is scoring 17.5 points per game and leading the WCC with 175 assists. Junior Katelan Redmon is also scoring 17.5 per night and classmate Kayla Standish 16.9. The Zags have been beating teams by over 22 points per game this season, with their only losses coming away from home against USC (79-73), Mississippi (53-52), Notre Dame (70-61) and a close home loss to Stanford (84-78).

THE SERIES WITH GU

The Broncos stunned the league last year at the WCC tournament before losing to the Zags 87-47 in the semifinals – the last meeting between the two schools. SCU has lost 8-straight at GU and is 9-14 all-time in Spokane. SCU leads the all-time series 27-23 but have lost 9-straight overall and 13 of 14.

PORTLAND
The Pilots (9-9; 0-3 WCC) are looking for their first WCC win and will host USF Thursday night before taking on Santa Clara Saturday afternoon. The Pilots were picked fifth in the preseason WCC poll. The Pilots enter the week having played 7 of their last 9 away from home, which has contributed to three-straight WCC losses and a current 6-game losing streak. Portland had started the year 9-3. Long-time head coach Jim Sollars has a pair of players scoring in double-figures, led by Natalie Day's average of 13.3. Day also leads the team in rebounds (5.2 pg) and blocks (19).

THE SERIES WITH UP

The Broncos knocked off the Pilots 74-61 in the second round of the WCC tournament last March. Prior to that, Portland had won four-straight including sweeping the regular season series last year. SCU nearly upset UP at the Chiles Center on Jan. 30, 2010, getting 19 points from Lena Gipson to lead in the second half. The Broncos own the all-time series edge 30-24.

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)

WCC STANDINGS
Team - WCC - Overall

Gonzaga - 3-0 - 15-4
St. Mary's - 3-1 - 11-8
Loyola Marymount - 3-1 - 9-9
Santa Clara - 2-1 - 6-11
Pepperdine - 2-2 - 11-7
San Diego - 1-3 - 10-7
Portland  - 0-3 - 9-9
San Francisco - 0-3 - 3-14

LAST TIME OUT
Santa Clara's Meagan Fulps poured in 30 points but St. Mary's Jasmine Smith made a tie-breaking three-pointer with 56 seconds left to lift the Gaels past the Broncos, 77-68. In an extremely entertaining game at Santa Clara's Leavey Center, the two rivals exchanged leads five times in the final five minutes before Smith put the Gaels up for good in the closing seconds. Smith finished with a team-high 23 points for St. Mary's (11-8; 3-1 WCC) who is picked second behind Gonzaga in the WCC preseason polls. Gael senior center Louella Tomlinson blocked seven shots and Kate Gaze scored 15, including two pivotal 3s late in the second half.

1,000/800! LENA GIPSON REACHES SCORING/REB. MILESTONES
Senior forward Lena Gipson eclipsed the 1,000-point and 800-rebound milestones for her career, scoring a team-high 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds Jan. 13 in a victory over San Diego. She becomes one of two players in school history to have totaled 800 rebounds – accomplishing the feat in just two-plus seasons.

"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."

ALYSSA SHOJI AMONG ALL-TIME BEST IN 3s

Junior guard Alyssa Shoji has moved into 5th place in program history with 153 career 3s. Shoji, who set the school record for minutes played in a season a year ago, led all WCC players with 84 three-pointers made as a sophomore. She can move into fourth place all-time at SCU with six more. Her 1.8 three-pointers per game average this year ranks 5th in the league.

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 boasts 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.

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.