Jan. 19, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team will take its three-game win streak and undefeated league record on the road this week when it travels to Moraga and San Francisco to take on its Bay Area West Coast Conference rivals.
The Broncos, who have not played away from the Leavey Center since a loss at the University of Oregon on Dec. 17, will play at Saint Mary's College on Thursday night. Santa Clara will venture up Highway 101 to San Francisco to face the Dons on Saturday night. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. tipoffs. Tickets to the Saint Mary's game are available by calling the SMC athletic ticket office at 925/631-4392. The USF ticket office can be reached by calling 415/422-2873.
All Santa Clara games are broadcast live in the Bay Area on KSFB-AM (1220) and via the Internet by clicking here. In addition, real-time statistical coverage will be provided for every WCC game through SantaClaraBroncos.com.
The Broncos return home the following week to host Portland on Thursday, Jan. 29 7 p.m. Two days later, Santa Clara welcomes the Fox Sports Net cameras for a 7:30 p.m. contest against Gonzaga. A limited number of tickets remain available for the Gonzaga matchup. Click here or call the athletic ticket office at 408/554-4660 to purchase tickets to regular season SCU basketball games or for the WCC Basketball Championships, scheduled for March 5-8 at the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara enters Thursday's game with an 11-7 overall record and 3-0 mark in the WCC. The Broncos, who are tied with Gonzaga for first-place in the league standings, are 3-0 in league play for the first time since the 1997-98 season when it started out 5-0 against WCC opponents.
Last week, the Broncos knocked-off its Southern Californian league rivals Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount at the Leavey Center. Junior guard Doron Perkins led Santa Clara in scoring with 17 points in both games, while backcourt mate Kyle Bailey added 13 and 16 points, respectively. Bailey also added a season-high eight rebounds against the Lions while Perkins registered six steals in the game, which was just one short of the school record.
Perkins continues to lead the Broncos in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game. However, both he and Bailey are scoring at an identical 14.3 per game clip in the first three league games. Perkins leads the WCC in steals with an average of 2.44 per game and the team is third in the league in that category with an 7.38 per game.
Santa Clara is just ahead of Saint Mary's to lead the WCC in scoring defense, allowing just 63.8 points per game. In the three league games this season, Santa Clara has held its opponents to just 58.3 points and .271 shooting from behind the three-point arc.
Saint Mary's is 10-7 on the season and 1-1 in WCC games following a disappointing 75-61 loss at Gonzaga last weekend. The Gaels led the game 43-41 with 15:48 remaining when E.J. Rowland connected on a three-pointer. After trading baskets that kept the game tied at 50-apiece with 10:53 remaining, the Bulldogs went on a 12-3 run that virtually sealed the game.
Sophomore Daniel Kickert leads three Gaels in double figures, averaging 14.5 points per game. Paul Marigney adds 13.6 points per outing, while Rowland is scoring at a 11.8 per game clip. Marigney is averaging 25 points in Saint Mary's first two league games and scored 30 points in a 70-51 win at Portland.
The Gaels, who were picked to finish second in the WCC during a summer poll of league coaches, have won four of their last six outings and are 5-1 in games played at McKeon Pavlion on the Moraga, Calif. campus. SMC enjoys a plus-6.2 rebounding edge and, like Santa Clara, has a stingy defense that limits its opponents to just 64.8 points from the floor.
However, the Gaels exacted their revenge with a 65-51 win in the first round of the WCC Tournament in San Diego. The result marked the second-straight season Saint Mary's knocked the Broncos out of the league championships in the first round.