Broncos Host Dons in WCC Home Opener

Jan. 21, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team returns to the Leavey Center Wednesday for the first time since late December for its West Coast Conference home opener at 7 p.m. against Bay Area rival San Francisco.

Tickets to the USF contest, as well as each of the remaining six home games, are available by calling the athletic ticket office at 408/554-4660 or by purchasing online by clicking here. Wednesday game will be broadcast live via the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of 1640 AM KDIA, 103.3 FM KSCU and on the Internet by clicking here.

Santa Clara enters Wednesday game against the Dons with a 10-6 overall record and a 1-2 mark in WCC contests. The Broncos opened WCC play with a 67-65 win at San Diego before dropping back-to-back games at Pepperdine (73-69) and Loyola Marymount (75-69) last weekend in Los Angeles.

Freshman guard Brandon Rohe leads Santa Clara in scoring with an average of 13.1 points per game. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. native is the WCC's leading free throw shooter at 86.2 percent and is third in three-point percentage, connecting on 42.9 percent of his attempts. He has led the team in scoring in four of its last seven games and contributed a team-high 23 points in the loss at LMU on Saturday.

Junior center Jim Howell nearly etched his name in the record books with a 19-rebound effort against the Lions. That performance was the most boards for a Bronco since Ron Reis grabbed 20 rebounds in a win at Alaska-Anchorage in 1991. Howell, a native of Newport, Ore., leads the team with a 6.4 rebounds per game average and is the league-leader in conference games with a 10.0 per game average.

San Francisco is 6-10 overall and 1-2 in the WCC following a 66-56 home loss to league-leading Gonzaga Sunday. The Dons have four of their last six games, including a 77-70 overtime decision at Pac-10 Conference leader California on Dec. 30. The Dons are 0-6 on the road this season and have not won at the Leavey Center since a 74-71 victory in 2000.

The Dons' leading scorer is junior guard John Cox, who averages 13.9 points per game. Following close behind is junior forward James Bayless, who is contributing 13.6 points and shooting a team-high .569 from the field.

Santa Clara returns to action Saturday when it hosts Saint Mary's at 7 p.m. in the Leavey Center. Fans purchasing a ticket to the contest against the Gaels will receive free admission to the Bronco baseball team's season-opener against Stanford at 1 p.m. that afternoon. The Saint Mary's game is also Bronco Kidz Day with all members of the club gaining free admission and a postgame autograph session.