The Santa Clara basketball programs finished their 2007-08 seasons during the first week of March at the 2008 West Coast Conference Tournament in San Diego. Both teams advanced to the semifinals.
Strong start for women
The women’s basketball team opened the season with an 11-4 start—the program’s best start since the 2001-02 season. Thanksgiving took the Broncos north to the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, where they earned a second-place finish, with senior Tracey Walker receiving Player of the Game honors in SCU’s victory over Bradley University; seniors Chandice Cronk and Jen Gottschalk were named to the all-tournament team.
Santa Clara then blazed a seven-game win streak and went undefeated in December, with wins over University of the Pacific and San Jose State, and a 50-point rout of Cal State Fullerton. The Broncos spent the majority of the conference season ranked second overall and eventually earned the No. 2 seed to the WCC Tournament. There, Santa Clara fell to host University of San Diego after advancing to the semifinals.
As for Bronco players’ accolades: Cronk and Gottschalk were named All-WCC and both earned conference Player of the Week honors during the season, and Gottschalk received all-tournament team honors at the WCC Championships. Over the course of the season, Cronk and Walker also joined the program’s 1,000-point club.
Junior Elizabeth Doran took all-conference academic team honors as well as her first ESPN The Magazine All-Academic District VIII First Team award. A native of Corvallis, Ore., Doran carries a 3.95 cumulative gradepoint average as she works towards a bioengineering degree.
Milestones for the men
Under the direction of first-year head coach Kerry Keating, the Broncos finished the year with a 15-16 overall record—a statistic that belies how tight some of the defeats were, coming down to final moments on the court. With the team recovering from the loss of six seniors from last season, John Bryant and Brody Angley led the way in scoring and rebounding, and both received All-WCC honors.
The Broncos began the season on the road and compiled a 5-1 record for the month of November. Going into conference play, Santa Clara owned an 8-7 record, including season series sweeps over Loyola Marymount and USF. Another season highlight was a victory over Pepperdine on Jan. 21 in which Santa Clara scored 101 points— the first time in 14 years the Broncos reached the century mark.
Two student-athletes on the men’s program also reached and surpassed their career 1,000 points this season. Senior Angley and junior Bryant both reached the 1,000-point milestone—the 26th and 27th players in school history to accomplish the feat.
One game in November had special significance for the team, and for Angley in particular: a match against Simpson University up in Redding, Angley’s home town. For the last several years, Angley’s father, Jamie, had been a fixture at Bronco games. But in May 2007 Jamie Angley died of cancer. He was 52. The game in Redding was, as the San Jose Mercury News dubbed it, the Brody Angley Homecoming Game.
Capping off his stint as a Bronco, senior Mitch Henke earned his second ESPN The Magazine All-Academic District VIII First Team award. A three-year letter-winner for the Broncos and a three-year starter, he has earned a 3.76 cumulative grade-point average as a finance major. Last year, he earned Academic All-District VIII honors and was a Division I-AAA Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention.