SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Trying to get back in the win column, Santa Clara women's basketball will host BYU at the Leavey Center on Sat., Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. The Broncos are coming off of a 59-48 loss at San Diego and are now 12-9 overall and 4-4 in the West Coast Conference.
The game vs. BYU will be a Play4Kay and PINK game. Donation jars will be at both the Ticket Office and main entrance. Any amount given will be rewarded with a Ticket Voucher for any upcoming game, excluding premium Men's Basketball games (vs. SMC). The first 54 fans will receive a free pink foam finger with the Bronco and WCC logos.
"Our conference is obviously a pretty tough conference," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "We need to get back to being consistent. We're playing really well for a majority of the game and then we're having let downs. Preparing for BYU tomorrow, it has to be more about us than about BYU and what we need to do. On the other end we have to capitalize on opportunities we have in the open court and in the half court."
The Broncos shoot .398 (477-1199) from the field and .314 (108-344) from deep. They are led by Ricki Radanovich and her 11.6 points per game. Radanovich leads the team with 51 threes made and shoots .349 (51-146) from beyond the arc. Meagan Fulps is second on the team with 10.9 ppg and brings down 3.2 rebounds per game as well. Lindsay Leo leads the team in blocks per game (2.2) and rebounds per game (7.2) while scoring 9.8 ppg on .424 (72-170) shooting. Leo also leads the WCC in free throw shooting at .827 (43-52). Ruta Zurauskyte leads Santa Clara in shooting with a .506 (81-160) mark while scoring 9.8 ppg and bringing down 7.0 rpg. Raquel Avila leads the team with 2.9 assists per game while chipping in 3.9 ppg. Nici Gilday adds 7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 2.8 apg off the bench.
"I think we like to get up in transition a little bit more than they do," said Mountain of the Broncos biggest advantage. "We have more weapons than they do. We're very similar teams. We've got size and they've got size. It's going to be a matter of taking care of the ball and making sure we do a good job of rebounding. Rebounding is going to be a huge key."
The Cougars enter the game with a record of 14-6 overall, 4-5 on the road, and 5-2 in conference play. They have taken down Arizona on the road as well as Saint Mary's at home in their last outing. From Dec. 4, 2012 through Jan. 12, 2013 BYU had a nine-game winning streak that was snapped with a 74-59 loss at Gonzaga. Against common opponents the Cougars are 4-3 while the Broncos are 3-3.
BYU shoots .422 (480-1138) from the field, good for second in the conference, and .342 (140-409) from three. The Cougars outrebound their opponents by 3.7 rebounds per game and outscore opponents by 8.6 points per game. The .364 (411-1129) field goal percentage allowed is tops in the conference.
The Cougars are led by Lexi Eaton who averages 15.6 ppg on .459 (45-98) shooting from the field. Eaton adds 4.0 rpg as well. Kim Beeston is second on the team with 10.8 ppg and shoots .382 (47-123) from deep to lead the team in threes made and attempted. Jennifer Hamson is tops on the team with 7.7 rpg and scores 10.4 ppg on .491 (55-112) shooting. Morgan Bailey shoots a team-high .526 (81-154) from the field while averaging 9.3 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Haley Steed leads the WCC with 7.8 apg and scores 9.8 ppg.
"I think there are a couple key matchups," said Mountain. "Haley Steed is a very veteran player that is a very smart point guard that runs the show for these guys. We've got to do a great job of containing her and making her get rid of the ball. We also have to make sure we keep Jennifer Hamson off the block. She's done a nice job for them and is 6'7. Limiting Hamson's touches and controlling the tempo with Steed will be important. They're a very balanced team so we've got to make sure we're disciplined the entire game."