March 4, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Eighth-seeded Santa Clara women's basketball opens the 2009 West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament against fifth-seeded Saint Mary's on Friday, March 6. Tip-off is scheduled for Noon. The winner of the contest will advance to the quarterfinal game against fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount on Saturday, March 7 at Noon.
Follow Your Broncos Online
Fans have two options to catch the Broncos live in the WCC Tournament. SCU's Sam Farber will be calling the play-by-play live via Bronco All-Access on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and the WCC will offer free live video streaming via www.wccsports.com. Fans just need to log-on and sign up for a free WCC All-Access pass. Live in-game stats will also be available via www.wccsports.com. Click on the "Tournament Central" link on the right-hand side.
SCU enters the conference tournament with a 3-26 overall record and a 1-13 WCC mark. The Broncos are the eighth seed in the tournament. It is the first time since the 1988-89 season that Santa Clara finished at the bottom of the pack (7-21, 3-11 WCC). Lena Gipson continues to lead the team with 13.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. She also owns a 49.7 FG%. Elizabeth Doran and Rhianna Faithfull are 88.9% from the charity stripe and Alyssa Shoji leads with a 32.1% from behind the arc. Sara Majors has dished out 87 assists thus far and is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per game.
Last Time Out
The Broncos closed out the regular season with losses at Gonzaga (92-63) and Portland (61-53). For the weekend, Gipson averaged 20.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. She posted a game-high 20 points and 15 boards against the Pilots and had 21 points against the Zags.
Scouting Saint Mary's
The Gaels enter the tournament with an 11-18 overall record and a 7-7 WCC record. Saint Mary's won it's last two game of the regular season defeating Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. WCC Defensive Player of the Year Louella Tomlinson had back-to-back double-doubles with 21 points and 13 boards against the Waves and 13 points and 13 boards against the Lions. GAELS TO WATCH: Tomlinson - 15.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 154 blks; Maija Lahde - 10.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 38 stls.
Last Time vs. Saint Mary's
SMC won both meetings against SCU this season.
All-Time vs. Saint Mary's
Friday's game marks the 56th overall meeting of the two teams in a series that Santa Clara leads 32-23. Santa Clara is 2-1 against Saint Mary's in the WCC Tournament. The two teams last met in 2002 with SCU edging SMC, 87-84, in San Diego.
Scouting Loyola Marymount
The Lions earned a first round bye and will face the winner of the SCU/SMC game. LMU enters the tournament with a 17-11 overall record and a 7-7 WCC mark. The Lions lost their final two games of the regular season to SMC and USF. Alex Cowling was named the WCC's Newcomer of the Year. LIONS TO WATCH: Renahy Young - 14.3 ppg, 30 stl; Cowling - 13.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4 blk; Cassady Moore - 11.4 ppg, 72 stl, 88 a.
Last Time vs. Loyola Marymount
The Lions won both meetings with the Broncos this season.
All-Time vs. Loyola Marymount
A potential meeting on Saturday would mark the 55th overall meeting of the two teams in a series that Santa Clara leads 39-15. The Broncos are 3-1 against the Lions in the WCC Tournament. The two teams last met in 2007 with LMU posting a 65-49 win over SCU.
On Deck The winner of Friday's game will battle fourth-seeded LMU on Saturday, March 7 at Noon. The winner of that game will advance to play the No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Sunday, March 8 at Noon. The championship game of the WCC Women's Basketball Tournament will be played on Monday, March 9 at Noon on ESPNU.
Gipson Earns All-WCC Honors
Sophomore stud Gipson received her first honor from the WCC as she was named an All-WCC honorable mention. Gipson has started in all 29 games for the Broncos and averages 13.6 points and a league-best 10.0 rebounds per game.
Doran Named WCC All-Academic
The senior guard earned her second academic honor of the year as she was named to the West Coast Conference's All-Academic team. Doran also received the honor as a junior (2007-08) and is also a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII First Team selection. A bioengineering major, Doran carries a 3.92 cumulative GPA and has started in 27 of the Broncos 29 games. She averages 8.2 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game with an 88.9 FT%. She is second on the team with a 30.4 3FG%.
Gipson Makes Mark In Record Books
The sophomore forward has entered her first single-season category as a Bronco. With 290rebounds, she takes over the No. 3 spot this week from Amy Vanos' 1991-92 season of 287 boards. Gipson's boarding average (10.0) also ranks in the top-10 of the single season list. She is tied for No. 4 with Liz Bruno's sophomore season (1979-90).
Majors Reaches 500
The senior from Aumsville, Ore., earned her 500th career point in Saturday's game against Portland. For her career, she has 500 points, 404 rebounds and 205 assists.
The Broncos held on to a No. 5 ranking in the nation 3FG defense this week. SCU has held its opponents to a .258 three-point field goal percentage. Santa Clara is also No. 95 in field goal defense, holding its opponents to a 38.1percentage. Individually, Gipson moves up to No. 20 in rebounds per game and is No. 58 in field-goal percentage.
Gipson is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double of 13.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. She has compiled double-digit scoring performances in 25 of the Broncos' 29 games and has had a double-double in 18 of SCU's 29 games.
Off The Boards
Since Day 1 of the 2008-09 season, Gipson leads the West Coast Conference in rebounds. She averages a league-best 10.0 per game. She ranks No. 1 in rebounds and No. 1 in defensive rebounds with 7.24 per game.