Senior Night, ‘Pink Zone’ This Week in SCU Women’s Hoops

Game Notes in PDF Format
Michael's Minutes - Episode #8 Senior Night

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
The Santa Clara University women's basketball team is playing its final two regular season home games this week at the Leavey Center. No 25 Gonzaga visits Thursday night at 7 p.m., followed by Portland Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Starting senior forwards Lena Gipson and Kathy Willinsky will be honored prior to Saturday's game against Portland. Saturday is also the Broncos featured WBCA Pink Zone event, which raises awareness for breast cancer, as well as collecting a significant amount of donations for women's cancer research.

Game Notes Week #16 - Feb. 14-20, 2011

#25 GONZAGA @ SANTA CLARA

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 • 7 p.m.
Game #24 • Home Game #11 • Santa Clara, Calif.
Live Audio | Live Stats

PORTLAND @ SANTA CLARA

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 • 2 p.m.
Game #25 • Home Game #12 • Santa Clara, Calif.
Live Video | Live Stats

LIVE COVERAGE
The best place to follow all the action is on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Due to unforseen network issues, Thursday's game will be a FREE audio-only broadcast. On Saturday, a FREE three-camera video broadcast will be available. Live scoring will be offered for both games. Michael Spero (play-by-play) will be calling the games live, courtside from the Leavey Center.

GAME NOTES
Santa Clara is led by third year head coach Jennifer Mountain
SCU (8-16; 4-6 WCC) enters the week in 5th place in the league standings
Gonzaga (22-4; 10-0 WCC) cracked the AP Top 25 this week
Portland (14-11; 5-5 WCC) is trying to remain among the top four in the league standings and earn a bye in the upcoming WCC tournament
Santa Clara is 5-5 at home and 3-11 on the road
Lena Gipson is averaging 19. 7 points per game in the last four
In just 3 years Gipson has become one of the most accomplished players in SCU history, ranking 2nd all-time in rebs (883) and scoring 1,124 points
Both seniors, Lena Gipson (Psychology) and Kathy Willinsky (Urban Education), will graduate from SCU this summer
SCU is making over six 3s per game in WCC play
SCU is 0-13 when shooting a lower 3PT% than its opponent
The Broncos rank last in the league in scoring offense (60.4 ppg)
SCU lost to Gonzaga (89-53) and Portland (70-62) last month on the road
GU has won 10 straight against SCU
The Zags are 87-7 vs. the WCC over the last six years
Portland is coming off two home wins over Pepperdine and LMU
UP NEXT: A final road trip of the regular season takes Santa Clara to Los Angeles next week to play at LMU Thursday, Feb. 24 and at Pepperdine, Saturday, Feb. 26

SANTA CLARA

The Broncos (8-16; 4-6 WCC) are one game behind the Pilots for fourth place in the WCC standings. Saturday's game will have major tournament-seeding implications, with both UP and SCU attempting to enter the final week of play among the top four. Third-year Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain has seen forward Lena Gipson enjoy a terrific senior campaign, posting 12 double-doubles (pts-rebs). Gipson's classmate Kathy Willinsky has also been key to the team's turnaround. After losing their first eight games, the Broncos rebounded to win 6 of 8 in late Dec. and early Jan. After struggling to shoot the ball well early in the year, SCU is much improved as of late, shooting 41 percent as a team in league play – including making over six 3s per game, which ranks 3rd in the league. Santa Clara is 5-5 on its home floor at the Leavey Center and 3-2 vs. the WCC at home.

GONZAGA
The Zags (22-4; 10-0 WCC) are scoring an NCAA-best 84.8 points per night. GU extended its winning streak to 12 following a sweep over LMU and Pepperdine at home last weekend. Senior guard Courtney Vandersloot (18.0 ppg; 9.8 apg) is a strong candidate for WCC Player of the Year honors. Vandersloot is surrounded by talented players; including junior forward Kayla Standish (16.4 ppg; 8.7 rpg) and junior guard Katelan Redmond (17.6 ppg; 7.6 rpg).

THE SERIES WITH GU
SCU leads the all-time series 27-24 but has lost 10 straight overall and 14 of 15. The Zags won easily in Spokane on Jan. 20, 89-53.

PORTLAND
The Pilots (14-11; 5-5 WCC) started the WCC season 0-3 but have rallied to win 5 of their last 7.  It has been an up and down year for the Pilots, opening the season at 4-0 for just the third time in program history and for the first time since 2001-02. It appears 25th-year head coach Jim Sollars has Portland playing well at the right time. Games at USF and Santa Clara will be followed by home dates with St. Mary's and San Diego to close out the regular season.

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 lost to UP at the Chiles Center on Jan. 22. The Broncos own the all-time series edge 30-25.

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 (25) - 10-0 - 22-4
St. Mary's - 8-3 - 16-10
Pepperdine - 6-5 - 15-10
Portland - 5-5 - 14-11
Santa Clara - 4-6 - 8-16
San Diego - 4-7 - 14-11
Loyola Marymount - 4-7 - 10-15
San Francisco - 1-9 - 4-20

PILOTS ESCAPE WITH HOME WIN OVER BRONCOS JAN. 22
Portland won a closely contested WCC game with Santa Clara 70-62 Saturday, Jan. 22 at the Chiles Center. Tied at 52 with 6:37 left, the Pilots out-scored the Broncos 18-10 down the stretch to win their second straight. Portland (11-9; 2-3 WCC), who started the season 9-3, picks up a weekend sweep at home after beating USF easily. ReZina Teclemariam scored a game-best 19 points for the Pilots, including a timely 3 which put UP up by six with 3:23 left. Tara Cronin added 17 points and four assists. Santa Clara (6-13; 2-4 WCC) held a 30-16 advantage in the paint behind All-WCC power forward Lena Gipson who posted her eighth double-double, scoring 14 points and hauling in 11 rebounds. Meagan Fulps scored 14 and Lindsay Leo had 10.

BRONCO WOMEN FALL TO ZAGS IN SPOKANE JAN. 20
Six-time reigning West Coast Conference champions Gonzaga beat the Santa Clara women 89-53 at the Kennel in Spokane Jan. 20. Gonzaga (16-4; 4-0 WCC) held Santa Clara scoreless for a stretch of nine-plus minutes in the first half, allowing the 3,084 in attendance to watch the Zags build a big lead and win going away. All-American Courtney Vandersloot had 21 points and nine assists for GU and Kayla Standish scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half. Santa Clara (6-12; 2-2 WCC) received a career-high 15 points from Ashley Armstrong, who also had a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore classmate Meagan Fulps had 11 points and Alyssa Shoji added seven points and four assists for the Broncos.

LENA GIPSON NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Feb. 6)
Santa Clara University senior forward Lena Gipson posted her fourth-straight double-double and 11th of the year, in a 70-62 victory over San Francisco Feb. 5. The league honored Gipson as the West Coast Conference 'Player of the Week.' Gipson scored a season-high 21 points and totaled 16 rebounds. She was 6 of 12 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line. She has led the WCC in rebounding all season and ranks among the NCAA's top 20 in both rebounds and double-doubles. It marks the second time this season Gipson has earned the league's Player of the Week award. She is a two-time First Team All-WCC honoree.

GIPSON JUST SECOND IN SCU HISTORY TO HAVE 1,000 PTS/800 REB
In 46 years of women's basketball tradition at Santa Clara, just one other player has scored 1,000 points and totaled 800 rebounds. On January 13, 2011, in a victory over San Diego, Lena Gipson reached both those career milestones on the same night, scoring a season-high 19 points, allowing SCU the victory and a 2-0 start to league play. She ranks second all-time in rebounds, rebounding average; also ranks among the program's top 10 in scoring average, field goal percentage and blocks – doing so in just two-plus seasons.

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).

FULPS, LEO FEATURED ON 'ROAD TO VEGAS' SERIES
The WCC's Road to Las Vegas is available on-demand on WCCsports.com. The Jan. 26 edition featured Santa Clara's Lindsay Leo and Meagan Fulps, in the '60 Seconds With' segment. New episodes of The Road to Las Vegas premiere Wednesdays on WCCsports.com, and can be viewed any time on-demand.

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.

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.

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.