Feb. 5, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team returns to the Leavey Center Saturday to host the University of San Diego in the first of three-straight West Coast Conference games that will help determine its seeding for the annual league tournament.
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff and will culminate a day filled with alumni activities, including the annual contest featuring former Bronco players and coaches. The alumni game is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Leavey Center followed by a dinner and the game against the Toreros.
For the first time ever, the alumni game will be broadcast live on the Internet through the school's official athletic website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com, the Official College Sports Network and RealNetworks. Veteran Bronco play-by-play announcer Dave Lewis will call the action, while Associate Head Coach Steve Seandel will add a unique perspective to the game as color analyst.
Admission to the alumni game is free. Tickets to the game against San Diego are available by calling the Santa Clara Athletic Ticket Office at 408/554-4660 or by clicking here. Fans purchasing either a basketball or baseball ticket for that day will receive admission into both events. The baseball team hosts a 1 p.m. contest against UC Irvine at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Santa Clara is 11-9 on the season and 2-5 in the WCC after dropping both games of its annual Northwest trip at Portland and Gonzaga last weekend. The Broncos played five of its first seven league games on the road and went 1-4 in those games. In the friendly confines of the Leavey Center, the Broncos have fared much better, posting a 7-4 home mark this season. Five of Santa Clara's final seven games of the season are at home.
Junior transfer J.R. Patrick earned his first career start last weekend at Gonzaga and responded with a career-high 16 points and connected on four of eight three-point attempts. The Edmonton, Alberta native is the fifth Canadian player to join the Santa Clara men's basketball program in the last seven years, following Steve Nash, Brendan Graves and Steve Ross.
San Diego enters Saturday's game with an 11-9 overall record and 5-2 WCC mark after knocking-off Saint Mary's 76-69 Wednesday at USD. The Toreros have won five of their last six games and in second-place in the WCC standings.
Center Jason Keep is the WCC's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Close behind is forward Jason Blair, who is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The Toreros are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 4.1 per game.
In the last meeting between the two teams, Santa Clara earned a 67-65 victory over the Toreros at San Diego on Jan. 11 in the WCC opener for both teams. Freshman Brandon Rohe led Santa Clara with 20 points as the Broncos improved to 5-2 overall in the Jenny Craig Pavilion and 3-0 against USD in the last three years.
Following the San Diego game, Santa Clara remains at home for a pair of contests against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. The Feb. 16 contest against the Waves is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. to accomodate a Fox Sports regional telecast.