1. Limit the impact of Ashley Hiraki and Marya Hudgins
In the big upset a year ago, Santa Clara got contributions from several players. Tess Heal had a team-high 16, while Marya Hudgins had 12. The biggest x-factor was Ashley Hiraki scoring 13 points on a perfect 4/4 shooting from the field. She was a career 6.0 ppg scorer so her production was huge in the upset.
This season, Hiraki is starting but her offensive role has taking a dip, averaging 4.3 ppg and 2.4 apg while shooting just 26% on the year. Still, any production from her will be crucial. As for Hudgins, she’s third on the team this season in scoring at 10.1 ppg, along with 7.5 rpg. She’s only shooting 39% from the field but is at 38% from deep.
With Hudgins acting as a 6th Man for the team, the Broncos may decide to play her more and Hiraki less. They do go 10 deep and only two players play more than 25 mpg. But with two of their starters averaging fewer than 5.0 ppg (Hiraki and Keeley Frawley) there’s a chance that against Gonzaga, the rotation shortens up in order to keep up with the top-scoring team in the league.