February 16, 2004

Men's Hoops Returns Home Against Saint Mary's

Feb. 16, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team looks forward to defending its home turf Saturday when it hosts Saint Mary's College in a 7 p.m. West Coast Conference game that is crucial to both teams' postseason seedings.

Tickets to the contest, which will mark the final regular-season home game for Bronco seniors Jim Howell, Alex Kargbo, J.R. Patrick and team manager Lizandro Carrasco, are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here. The game will be broadcast live in the Bay Area on KSFB-AM (1220) and worldwide on the Internet by clicking here.

Santa Clara enters the game with a 10-4 home mark, but has a 3-9 record away from the Leavey Center giving Dick Davey's squad a 13-13 record with just three regular-season contests remaining. The Broncos have won five of their six home league contests, including a streak of three-straight to open conference play in early January.

If history is any indication, the Broncos have a bit of an edge. Santa Clara has won the last five games and eight of the last nine matchups between the two schools at the Leavey Center (formerly Toso Pavilion). However, the two schools have played virtually even the last six meetings with each team winning three times.

In the game earlier this season between the two schools in Moraga, the Gaels received near-record three-point shooting en route to an 84-52 victory at McKeon Pavilion. The hosts hit 14 three-pointers, one shy of the all-time school mark, as they recorded the largest margin of victory in the 191-game series between the Bay area and WCC rivals.

Junior Doron Perkins leads Santa Clara in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game after last weekend's 27-point outburst in a 93-90 loss at Pepperdine. Perkins' running three-point attempt appeared to have tied the game at the buzzer. However, after a television monitor review by officials, the shot was ruled to have left his hands a fraction of a second after the horn had sounded ending the game.

Against the Waves, Santa Clara connected on 14 of its 27 three-point attempts which was just one shy of the school record 15 made against Gonzaga in the 2001 WCC Tournament championship game in San Diego. Despite the 52 percent shooting from behind the arc, the Broncos were unable to overcome a 27-point effort by WCC Player of the Week Alex Acker and 63 percent long-range shooting by the Waves.

Kyle Bailey is averaging 12.2 points per game for the Broncos and has scored in double-figures in five of SCU's last six games, including 23 and 26 point outings against San Diego two weeks ago.

The Broncos will be without the services of senior co-captain Jim Howell. The Newport, Ore. native suffered a broken foot in practice Friday in Malibu and will miss the remainder of the season. Howell, a 6'-8" center, is fourth in the WCC in blocked shots with an average of 1.12 per game and has doubled his blocks and steals totals from his previous three seasons combined.

Saint Mary's enters the game with a 15-10 overall record and a 6-4 mark in league play. The Gaels have won three of their last four games but, like Santa Clara, are just 6-8 overall away from their home court.

Paul Marigney leads the Gaels in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game. Daniel Kickert is close behind with 14.9 points per game and is shooing .508 from the field and .354 from the three-point line.

Following the Saint Mary's contest, Santa Clara will travel to the Northwest to visit Portland on Thursday, Feb. 26 and Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 28. The game against the Bulldogs will be televised by ESPN2 and will mark the final game in the Martin Centre on the Gonzaga University campus.