Feb. 23, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team closes out its regular season this week when it travels to face its Northwest league rivals Portland and Gonzaga.
The Broncos meet Portland Thursday night in a 7 p.m. tipoff in the Chiles Center then travel to Spokane, Wash. to face Gonzaga Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the Martin Centre. Both games will air in the Bay Area on KSFB-AM (1220) as well as via the Internet at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Saturday's game at Gonzaga will be televised live nationally on sports cable network ESPN2.
Following this weekend's games, Santa Clara will welcome all seven of its conference brethren to the Leavey Center for the 18th annual West Coast Conference Championships. This annual event will feature eight sessions of games involving all 16 league men's and women's teams. The women's first round is scheduled for noon on Thursday, March 4, while the men's first round games will take place Friday at 6 p.m. For complete information on the WCC Championships, click here.
Santa Clara enters Thursday's game with a 13-14 overall record and 5-7 mark in league games. The Broncos currently sit tied for fifth-place in the WCC standings, one game behind fourth-place San Francisco. A combination of factors requiring at least one Bronco victory this week could help vault Santa Clara into the fourth-place, which provides a first round bye in the league championships next week.
The backcourt combination of Kyle Bailey and Doron Perkins continues to lead the Broncos on both ends of the court. The Alaskan duo accounts for 23.7 points per game, which is 36.4 percent of the team's offensive production. In addition, the duo have 86 steals between them on the season which is nearly one-half of the team's total on the season (188).
After beginning conference play with three-straight wins and five of six in the friendly confines of the Leavey Center, Santa Clara has dropped its last four outings and seven of its last nine. Last weekend, Saint Mary's earned a regular-season sweep of the Broncos with a decisive 70-40 win.
Portland enters Thursday's game with a 10-15 overall record and 4-8 mark in league play. The Pilots are tied with Loyola Marymount for sixth in the league standings, just one game behind the Broncos. Like Santa Clara, Portland has lost its last four games and six of its last eight outings. In its most recent contest on Feb. 18, the Pilots dropped a 79-69 decision at Gonzaga.
Eugene Jeter leads the Pilots in scoring, ranking third in the WCC in scoring with an average of 16.8 points per game. Portland is fourth in the league in scoring as a team, averaging 69.3 points per game, and is third in three-point field goal percentage at .396. The Pilots are making 7.32 treys per game, which ranks second in the league narrowly behind Pepperdine.