November 28, 2003

Men's Basketball Prepares For Home Opener

Nov. 28, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team returns to the Mission Campus Saturday to host Fresno State in its first home game of the 2003-04 season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Leavey Center.

Tickets are available by calling 408/554-4660 or at the arena on the day of the game. The game will air live in the Bay Area on KSFB-AM 1220 and via the web by clicking here. The game will also feature live statistical coverage via GameTracker.

Santa Clara enters Saturday's game with a 1-2 overall record following a seventh-place finish in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational earlier this week in Lahaina, Hawai'i. The Broncos opened the three-day tournament with a narrow 56-43 loss to the University of Hawai'i on Monday. In the second round, Santa Clara surrendered a five-point lead late in the game to drop a 53-51 overtime decision to Villanova.

In Wednesday's final game, Santa Clara defeated Central Michigan, an NCAA Tournament participant last season, by a score of 76-62. In that game, junior transfer Doron Perkins scored 15 points and registered three steals to lead the Broncos. Sophomore forward Travis Niesen added 10 points.

Offensively, junior guard Kyle Bailey led the team during the tournament, averaging 9.7 points and 3.3 assists per game. Perkins was close behind with a 9.0 per game scoring average and he added seven steals in the three games, which was the third most among the players in the tournament. Senior center Jim Howell is the team's rebounding leader, averaging 6.0 per game, while Niesen is the team's percentage leader after making 50 percent of his attempts.

Fresno State comes into the Leavey Center with an 0-1 record after losing at Oregon last weekend by a score of 80-67. Senior transfer Shantay Legans led the Bulldogs with 20 points on 8-for-19 shooting against the Ducks. Forward Jonathan Woods added 18 and guard Renaldo Major added 13 for Fresno State.

Santa Clara leads the series between the two schools by an 18-10 margin since the first meeting during the 1947-48 season. However, the Bulldogs have swept the last four matchups, including a 70-55 win last season in Fresno. Fresno has only won twice in Santa Clara, however, with the win in 2000 later being vacated due to the use of an ineligible player. That game, on Dec. 13, 2000, was the first-ever game in the newly-reconstructed Leavey Center.