SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Entering the season with high expectations, Santa Clara women's basketball will open the season with a pair of exhibition games at the Leavey Center. The Broncos will face Sonoma State at 7 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 1 and Humboldt State at 2 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 3. Both games will be part of the Santa Clara Food Drive with he Broncos are on a mission to fight hunger this holiday season! For every can of food you bring in, you receive $2 off your ticket.
"I want to see where we're at on both sides of the floor," said Santa head coach Jennifer Mountain. "It will give the freshmen and some of our returners a good chance to throw themselves into a game situation and get the nerves out a little bit. It's time to play against someone else and I think that's the most important part. We'll see where we are rotation-wise because we have a lot of depth and see our overall play. It will be two great challenges for us and I'm excited."
The 14 wins the Broncos put up in 2012-13 were a high under Mountain, as were the six wins in the competitive West Coast Conference. Santa Clara also improved its win total for the fifth consecutive season.
Last season the Broncos took on two teams that would make the NCAA Tournament. They topped Fresno State 58-53 and fell to No. 4 Stanford. From Dec. 9 through Jan. 19, Santa Clara went 9-2 and began WCC play 4-1. Santa Clara shot .391 from the field and .319 from deep.
Ricki Radanovich is the top returning scorer for Santa Clara. Radanovich added 10.5 points per game while hitting a West Coast Conference-high 68 threes. She also led the team with 1.8 steals per game. Nici Gilday showed a well-rounded game all year by averaging 7.5 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per games and 1.2 steals per game as the first option off the bench to start the year and as a starter midway through the year. Ruta Zurauskyte was tops on the team with a 48.6 percent mark shooting while scoring 10.5 points per game and led the team with 7.2 rebounds per game. She averaged 1.0 blocks per game as well.
Last season Sonoma State was 9-17 overall and 2-9 on the road while scoring 57.7 points per game. As a team the Sea Wolves shot .387 from the field and .300 from deep. The team outscored opponents 705-700 in the first half but were beaten in the second half 919-794. They split two games with San Francisco State and two games with Humboldt State. Both San Francisco State and Humboldt State are 2013-14 Santa Clara opponents.
The top returning scorer for Sonoma State is Kristina Fahey who started 16 of 26 games and averaged 6.8 ppg. Fahey shot .347 from the field and .333 from three and averaged 3.0 rpg. Bronte Sheahan shot .411 from the field while averaging 6.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg. Hannah Sourek started just four games but played in 22 and is the top returner in field goal percentage (.464) and rpg (3.1).
Last season Humboldt State was 10-18 overall and 3-9 away from home. As a team the Jacks shot .364 from the field and .275 from beyond the arc. They were outrebounded by an average of 40.0-39.4 rpg. Humboldt State split a two game series with San Francisco State in 2012-13.
Kelly Kime is the top returning scorer for the Jacks. Last season Kime averaged 8.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg, also tops among returners. She shot .488 from the field while picking up 30 steals and 44 assists. Ellie Anderson scored 6.9 ppg last year and pulled down 5.8 rpg while leading the team with 21 blocks. The team lost its top scorer, Lisa Petty, who averaged 18.9 ppg and 7.5 rpg, as well as Caitie Richards who scored 8.8 ppg.