Jan. 7, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team will open its 50th season of West Coast Conference competition Friday when it faces Gonzaga University in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at the Martin Centre in Spokane. Wash. The Broncos will then complete its annual Northwest trek with a 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon contest at the University of Portland.
Santa Clara is 5-8 on the season but has won its last four games heading into the WCC opener. Senior forward Steve Ross leads the team in scoring with an average of 15.0 points per game, while freshman Jordan Legge is the Broncos' leading rebounder with an average of 5.2 boards per game.
The Broncos ended the non-conference portion of its schedule last weekend with a 68-50 win over Loyola (Md.) at the Leavey Center. Ross poured-in 20 points as the Broncos ran their home record to 5-1 on the season. Senior center David Emslie will not make the trip due to a back injury, while junior forward Justin Holbrook will return to the lineup after missing the Loyola game due to a lower abdominal strain.
Gonzaga is 13-2 on the season following a 95-90 overtime win at the University of New Mexico on Monday night. The Bulldogs' RPI is 10th (as of Feb. 8), according to CollegeRPI.com and they are ranked 18th in the latest national coaches' poll. Gonzaga takes a 10-game win streak into Friday's game.
Portland is 4-10 overall and currently holds a six-game losing streaking after starting the season 4-4. Three of Portland's first four losses were in overtime and each of its last four losses have been by four points or less. Three Pilots average double figures in scoring, led by Casey Frandsen's 18.9 points per game. Coky Rochin leads the league in rebounding with an average of 10.2 per game.
The Broncos return home for a Jan. 16 game against the University of San Diego. At that game, Santa Clara athletics will honors its fall sports teams, which won three WCC titles and finished second in two others.
Santa Clara athletics is also in the final week of offering a WCC League Pass. The special ticket provides admission for each of the seven league games at the Leavey Center for a special price. To find out more about the League Pass, click here. For all game ticket information, click here.