Jan. 2, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team returns to action Saturday in its final non-conference game of the regular season in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) in Las Vegas, Nev.
Saturday's game will feature two teams who have each posted quick starts to the season. Santa Clara's 9-3 mark is its best start since the 1995-96 season, while UNLV's 8-2 start is its best since the 1999-2000 season.
The Broncos currently own the West Coast Conference's best record at 9-3 overall and ran its win streak to six-straight with a 71-67 win over Wright State Monday night at the Leavey Center. Freshman Brandon Rohe scored a team-high 14 points, while Scott Borchart and J.R. Patrick chipped-in a career-high 11 points each to lead the Broncos against Wright State. Santa Clara shot a season-high 60.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc against the Raiders and increased its record to 9-1 when outshooting its opponent.
Santa Clara leads the WCC in three-point shooting, making 83 of its 210 attempts for a .395 shooting percentage. Sharpshooting guards Rohe and Ethan Rohde combine to shoot 45 percent from three-point range, while Rohe is the team's scoring leader with a 13.1 points per game average. The Broncos are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 6.8 per game and senior forward Cord Anderson paces the squad with a 6.7 per game average.
Saturday's game will mark the sixth-straight home game for UNLV, which has a 7-2 overall record heading into Thursday night's game against Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne (IPFW). Last weekend the Runnin' Rebels won their own Jim Thorpe Classic with a 70-67 win over West Virginia and a 79-78 decision over SMU in the championship game. UNLV's two losses came at the hands of then-No. 23 Wisconsin and then-No. 17 Stanford.
Santa Clara and UNLV have not met on the basketball court since the Runnin' Rebels were a member of the West Coast Conference from 1969-1975. The two teams met 13 times during that span with the Broncos coming away a 7-6 series edge.
The UNLV contest is the first of four-straight road games for the Broncos. Following Saturday's game, Santa Clara opens the WCC schedule with games at San Diego (Jan. 11), Pepperdine (Jan. 17) and Loyola Marymount (Jan. 18). The Broncos return home to face San Francisco on Wed., Jan. 22 at the Leavey Center.
The athletic department is offering a new ticket package of WCC games only at a variety of seat locations and price options. Contact the athletic ticket office at 408/554-4660 or click here for information or to purchase tickets online.