Feb. 26, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Senior forward Annie Garrison became only the second player in Santa Clara history to be named a three-time first team All-West Coast Conference member, the league announced this morning. Additionally junior guards Becki Ashbaugh and Caroline Gruening received honorable mention honors.
Garrison joins three-time honoree Melissa King (1991-93) as the only Broncos to earn three consecutive first team league honors and earns the unanimous recognition for the second straight year.
The starting trio has led Santa Clara to a share of this year's league championship, tying Saint Mary's with an 11-3 mark. It is the Broncos' seventh overall WCC title and third in the last four years. Santa Clara currently carries an overall record of 20-6, marking the fourth straight season that the program has reached the 20-win plateau.
Garrison, a 6-3 Saratoga native, has been the only player to start every game for the Broncos this season, and leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. She has registered five double-doubles this season and has reached double figures in scoring in 17 games while posting six double-digit rebounding performances. Garrison is the school's all-time best shot blocker, with 202, and will also set top-10 marks in points, rebounding and field goal percentage. She is a Verizon District VIII All-Academic team member and was named the conference's defender of the Year as a sophomore. Earlier this season, Garrison became only the 12th Bronco all-time to score 1,000 points in a career, achieving the feat during a road victory at San Francisco last month.
"Annie has meant a lot to our program, not just this season, but for four years," head coach Chris Denker said. "She's just been a tremendous person, player and student. She's a very diligent, hard working kid and when you have a captain like that, generally the others follow. I just think the world of Annie."
Ashbaugh, a 5-5 Bellevue, Wash., native, also received honorable mention honors last year. This season, she has started all but one game and is averaging 9.3 points and 5.2 assists per game. She nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 39 seconds left in regulation to lead the Broncos in an upset of 10th-ranked Texas Tech on Dec. 27 and made 24 straight free throws in conference play.
Gruening earns her first recognition from the WCC. Now on scholarship, the 5-7 Juneau, Alaska, native walked onto the squad two seasons ago. She has started all but one game this season, and is second on the team in scoring average, with a 10.1 mark. She made five three-pointers against 12th-ranked Oregon earlier in the season and scored a game-winning basket two weeks ago to beat Pepperdine on the road and keep the Broncos in the race for the WCC title.
The Broncos travel to San Diego and will open the WCC against Portland on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Semifinal action will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. while the finals will be on Sunday, March 4 at 1 p.m.