Broncos-Dons Battle at Santa Clara on Saturday

Broncos-Dons Battle at Santa Clara on Saturday

Jan. 21, 2010

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Q&A with junior forward Kathy Willinsky
Freshman starter Meagan Fulps video interview

SAN FRANCISCO (4-17; 0-4 WCC) @ SANTA CLARA (2-17; 0-4 WCC)
Saturday, January 23 - 2 p.m.
Leavey Center (4,500) - Santa Clara, Calif.


GAME #20: Santa Clara's West Coast Conference schedule brings local rival USF to the Leavey Center for a Saturday afternoon game scheduled for 2 p.m. The game is a `Jesuit Basketball Spotlight' event. Donations to support relief efforts in Haiti will be accepted at the main gates.

TV/RADIO/INTERNET: A live video broadcast will be available on Santa Clara's official athletics website ( Sam Farber (play-by-play) will call the action courtside. Additionally, free live scoring can be accessed via GAMETRACKER on (

GAME PROMOTIONS: Saturday is `Bay Area Pro Sports Jersey Night.' Support the Broncos and our local professional teams. Wear a local pro team's jersey to the game and get in FREE!

RELIEF FOR HAITI'S EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS: Donations to help the victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake will be accepted at the Leavey Center at Saturday's game. All money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross and designated for the Haiti Relief and Development Fund. The fundraising effort fits into the nationwide `Jesuit Basketball Spotlight' program - which aims to bring greater positive awareness to Jesuit education and mission. Both Santa Clara and USF are Jesuit institutions.

# Jennifer Mountain is in her second season as Santa Clara head coach
# Santa Clara averaged 616 fans in its two WCC home games last weekend
# 11 of the Broncos 15 players are underclassmen
# Both teams are trying to snap a 10-game losing slide
# Santa Clara's two wins came against Sonoma State, 73-43, in its season-opener and at Pacific 74-69 Dec. 13
# USF's last win also came at Pacific, 71-67, on Dec. 10
# SCU's Lena Gipson is one of the WCC's premier players - leading the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg) for the second consecutive season
# PG Alyssa Shoji is the Broncos top scorer (13.6 ppg) and leads the WCC in 3PT FG
# SG Meagan Fulps (11.4 ppg) is the top freshman scorer in the WCC
# Fulps was Colorado's 2009 5A High School `Player of the Year' last season
# USF scores a league-low 54.8 points per game
# Both teams average 19+ turnovers per night
# SCU defeated USF 51-46 last February at the Leavey Center
# The Dons finished 7th in the WCC a year ago, the Broncos 8th
# The Santa Clara program has won eight WCC Championships (last in 2006)
# The Broncos have also been to six NCAA Tournaments and the WNIT five times
# SCU prides itself on its community service activities and academic excellence,
spending time each week mentoring young girls at local elementary schools. The team GPA last semester was 3.2.
# UP NEXT: Santa Clara will take its Northwest WCC road trip, playing at Gonzaga Thursday, Jan. 28 and Portland Saturday, Jan. 30

SANTA CLARA: For the second time in its four WCC games, Santa Clara led at the half but could not come away with a victory, dropping a close game to LMU Saturday at home. The 60-56 setback was the Broncos 10-straight loss. Second-year head coach Jennifer Mountain will be trying to beat USF for the second consecutive year in Santa Clara. The Broncos are scoring just over 60 points per game, led by sophomore point guard Alyssa Shoji, who scores 13.6 per night, reaching double figures in 17-of-19 games this season. Shoji and All-WCC power forward Lena Gipson (10 double-doubles) have proven to be consistent producers for Mountain, who has also brought in the league's top freshman scorer, shooting guard Meagan Fulps (11.4 ppg).

USF: The Dons have played just seven of their 21 games at home this season. USF is 2-12 on the road, which includes neutral site venues. The Dons have scored just 52.2 points per game in its four WCC contests, losing to SMC, USD, LMU and Pepperdine by an average of 13 points. Sophomore guard Rheina Ale is the team's top scorer, averaging 14.0 points per night which ranks among the WCC leaders. Ale's 39 treys last season ranked 10th on the Don's all-time single-season list. Classmate Vania Singleterry is contributing 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in the past four games. Head Coach Tanya Haave played for Pat Summitt at Tennessee and was named an All-American in 1983.

THE SERIES: The two Bay Area schools will be playing for the 79th time on Saturday. The teams split last season's matchups, both winning on their home floor. Santa Clara won 20-of-23 from 1997 through 2007. More recently the series has been more evenly matched, with each team winning three of the past six. USF leads the all-time series 44-34.

LAST TIME OUT: LMU converted all six of its free throws in the final minute to hang on and beat Santa Clara 60-56 Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center. Santa Clara (2-17; 0-4 WCC) led by two at the half and sophomore point guard Alyssa Shoji poured-in 15 second-half points to put the host Broncos in position to challenge down the stretch. However, LMU (9-8; 2-1 WCC) received a game-high 18 points from Alex Cowlings, who made 7-of-8 shots and went 4-for-4 from the line with the game in the balance. LMU posts a sweep on its Bay Area road trip. The Lions knocked-off USF 63-55 on Thursday. Using five freshmen and the consistent play of all-league power forward Lena Gipson, the Broncos led at the half 29-27. Gipson scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and four steals.

"You can't lose sight of the big picture," said Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain, who won just four games in her first season at SCU. "It takes a lot of patience. We are growing as a group and as a team. If we don't have patience with this thing, we won't get to where we want to be."

"We need to be able to play a full 40 minutes of a game," junior forward Kathy Willinsky told "We always come out and play very well in one half and then do not do the same thing the next. We are really focusing on be able to play with the same intensity and fight in the second half as we do in the first."

"It's not the way we all expected it to be," says sophomore point guard and floor leader Alyssa Shoji when asked about the current season's results. "But (Coach Mountain) is trying to make us aware that where we are right now, and where we will be, are two different places."

L, 60-44 @ San Diego (1/8)
L, 83-55 @ St. Mary's 1/10)
L, 83-67 vs. PEPPERDINE (1/14)
L, 60-56 vs. LMU (1/16)
USF (1/23)
@ Gonzaga (1/28)
@ Portland (1/30)
ST. MARY'S (2/4)

`NO-KNEE': Santa Clara star forward Lena Gipson has undergone five unsuccessful knee surgeries since tearing her ACL early in her senior season at Fresno's San Joaquin Memorial High School. To this day she plays without an ACL in her left knee. Gipson originally attended Arizona State University before transferring to Fresno City College, where she was an All-America player as a redshirt freshman prior to attending Santa Clara.

IN THE COMMUNITY: Santa Clara University has a unique relationship with the community in the Bay Area. Through its affiliation with BAWSI (Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative), the Broncos have been afforded the opportunity to aid in the development of young girls as individuals and athletes. Bronco student-athletes spend time each week mentoring young girls at local elementary schools.

NEXT HOME GAMES: On Thursday February 4, 2010 versus Saint Mary's, it will be `Wear White Night,' at the Leavey Center, part of the NCAA'S PACK THE HOUSE CHALLENGE. On Saturday, February 6, 2010 versus San Diego it will be `Pink Zone Night,' aiming to support the University's and the NCAA effort to raise awareness for breast cancer research

TICKETS: The SCU athletics department is offering a series of ticket specials To purchase tickets or for more information contact 408-554-4660.