Jan. 13, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team returns to the Leavey Center for two West Coast Conference games this week. The Broncos battle the Bulldogs of Gonzaga in a nationally televised game on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. on CBS College Sports. SCU then hosts Portland on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m.
Last Time Out
Lena Gipson registered her 11th double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds as the Santa Clara women's basketball team fell 67-54 at San Diego Saturday afternoon. Sara Majors also had 11 points, while Rhianna Faithfull added 10 points. The score was tied five times during the game and the lead changed hands on four occasions. In the first half, the Broncos rallied from a six point deficit to head into the second half with a 33-22 lead. It was just the third time this season that SCU held the advantage at the half. However, USD bounced back after the break and fought for 45 points to win the game.
Follow Your Broncos Online
Thursday's game will feature live stats via the Gametracker feature on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Fans cans watch and listen live to Saturday's game via Bronco All-Access as Sam Farber will be calling the play-by-play action.
Brittany Purvis and Gipson lead in field goal percentage as Purvis shoots 60% and Gipson shoots 50.3%. Gipson also continues to lead the team in points and rebounds, averaging a double-double of 12.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Majors took sole possession of a team-best 33.3 3FG% and has dished out 51 assists, while Elizabeth Doran has an 87.0 FT%.
The Broncos climbed to No. 14 in the nation this week in 3FG defense. SCU has held its opponents to a .254 three-point field goal percentage.
13 Straight For Doran
It has been 13 straight games in which Doran has sunk at least one three-pointer. She had one against Saint Mary's and one against San Diego to open WCC play last weekend. The run started on Nov. 26 against Florida Gulf Coast and has reached a tally of 28. She has 31 3FGs on the season. She also ranks No. 91 in the nation in 3FG percentage. Santa Clara has 73 three-pointers thus far.
Sophomore Gipson is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double of 12.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She has compiled double-digit scoring performances in 14 of the Broncos' 16 games and has had a double-double in 11 of SCU's 17 games.
Off The Boards
For the seventh straight week, Gipson leads the West Coast Conference in rebounds. She averages a league-best 10.2 per game. She ranks No. 1 in rebounds and No. 1 in defensive rebounds with 7.35 per game.
The junior had a career day against San Diego on Saturday. The 5-10 guard from Tucson, Ariz., was perfect from the field making both of her three-point field goal attempts, which was a career-high. It was also a career-high scoring game for Purvis, who had six points.
In The WCC
In conference games only, the Broncos lead the conference in 3FG% (.423) and 3FG% defense (.056). SCU is also fourth in rebounding margin and tied for fourth in offensive rebounds. Individually, Purvis, Faithfull and Alyssa Shoji rank in the top-10 in 3FG%, with Purvis being tied for first.
This week's contests will place first-year head coach Jennifer Mountain against two very familiar faces. Mountain will first face her alma mater, Gonzaga, and head coach Kelly Graves, who she worked under for the last seven seasons, on Thursday in a nationally televised game. Mountain helped recruit many of the members of that Bulldog squad. The Portland, Ore., native will then battle childhood coach Jim Sollars when the Pilots come to town on Saturday.
Fans can get an insiders look at the SCU Women's Basketball season via a weekly blog feature on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Seniors Doran and Majors will blog about the preseason and in season antics of the Broncos, while junior Kimee Goeggel will cover the after the season happenings.
The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 13-4 overall record. Gonzaga has won its last five of six games including their WCC opener against Portland, 60-49. Against the Pilots, Courtney Vandersloot had 19 points, while Heather Bowman had 15 points. Vivian Frieson led with 13 rebounds. The Bulldogs started the year with 5-0 and faced their longest losing streak, 0-2, in mid December against UC Santa Barbara and South Dakota State. ZAGS TO WATCH: Bowman - 19.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 29 stl; Vandersloot - 15.4 ppg, 107 a, 30 stl; Frieson - 8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 20 blk, 37 stl.
Last Time vs. Gonzaga
The Bulldogs won both meeting last season with the Broncos. The two teams first met on Feb. 6 in Spokane. Gonzaga won the game 88-52. The Bulldogs then traveled to Santa Clara on Feb. 28 and won that match, 80-71.
All-Time vs. Gonzaga
Thursday's game marks the 46th meeting of the two teams in a series that Santa Clara leads 27-18. However, Gonzaga has won the last 10 of 14 meetings.
The Pilots enter the weekend with a 7-8 overall record and will face the Dons of San Francisco on Thursday. In its WCC opener against Gonzaga, Laiken Dollente had 15 points and Tara Cronin had 13 points. The Pilots have split their last eight games, 4-4, and will look to snap a two game losing streak this weekend. PILOTS TO WATCH: Dollente - 16.7 ppg, 16 stl, 44 a; Cronin - 8.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 27 stl; Carly Koebel - 30 blk, 41.2 FG%, 71.4 FT%
Last Time vs. Portland
The Broncos won both of the meetings against the Pilots last season. The two teams first met on Jan. 31 in Portland when SCU edged Portland, 61-58. They met again for the Broncos' senior day on Mar. 1 with Santa Clara earning a 76-62 victory.
All-Time vs. Portland
Saturday's game marks the 50th meeting of the two programs in a series that Santa Clara leads 29-20. The Broncos have won the last 11 of 13 meetings.
Santa Clara will battle San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 24 in their single WCC game of the week. The Broncos and Dons face off at 7 p.m. at the War Memorial Gym on the campus of USF.