January 12, 2006

Bronco Hoops Returns To The Road

Jan. 12, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After playing its last six games within the friendly confines of the Leavey Center, the Santa Clara University men's basketball team returns to the road Monday for a West Coast Conference game at the University of San Diego.

The contest is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion and can be heard on the radio in the Bay Area on KNTS-AM (1220) and via the Internet on Broncos All-Access. The game will also be televised in the San Diego area by Cox Communications. Tickets are available by calling 619/260-7550.





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Santa Clara enters Monday's game with an 8-6 overall record and 1-1 mark in league play splitting a pair of games last weekend at the Leavey Center. The Broncos have won four of their last six games, which includes wins over Bucknell and Portland. SCU is coming off a tough 81-68 loss to sixth-ranked Gonzaga in front of a sold-out crowd and ESPN2 national television audience Monday night.

Senior Travis Niesen has led the Broncos in 11 of the team's 14 games, including the last five in a row. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native is averaging 20.3 points per game, which leads the team and rates second in the WCC behind the nation's top scorer Adam Morrison from Gonzaga.

Niesen is also second on the team in rebounding with a 7.0 per game average and is shooting .442 from the field and .771 from the free throw line.

Sophomores Mitch Henke and Brody Angley combine to score more than 21 points and grab 9.6 rebounds per game. Henke, a forward from Minnetonka, Minn., is the team's second-best three-point shooter and is tied for third on the team in rebounds.

A native of Redding, Calif., Angley is tied for the WCC lead in assist-turnover ratio and is second in the league in assists with an average of 5.4 per game. In his last seven outings, Angley is averaging seven assists per game. Against Portland last weekend, he scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out eight assists.

The rest of the starting lineup is comprised of freshmen Calvin Johnson and John Bryant. A guard from Morton, Texas, Johnson is the team's fourth-leading scorer with an average of 9.2 points and is among the league leaders in three-point percentage at .395.

Bryant, a San Pablo, Calif. native, is third in the WCC in rebounds with a team-leading 8.1 per game and second in blocks with 25. The 6'-10" center is shooting .571 from the field and is scoring at a 7.2 per game clip.

After missing eight games due to a stress fracture in his foot, SCU center Sean Denison returned against Gonzaga to see his first action since Dec. 3 at Mississippi State.

San Diego is 10-5 on the season and 0-2 in the conference after dropping a pair of heartbreaking games against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine on the road last weekend. The Toreros lost a two-point 86-84 decision at LMU on Saturday, then fell 55-54 in Malibu on Monday night.

Senior Nick Lewis averages 19.5 points per game and has led USD in scoring in eight of its 15 games this season. Four Toreros are in double-figures in scoring and three have started all 15 games.

Corey Belser is averaging 14.5 points per game and leads the team on the boards with a 7.5 per game rebounding average. Ross DeRogatis, who scored 28 points and tied a school-record with eight three-point field goals against SCU last season, is scoring at an 11.2 per game clip and is shooting 43 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Under coach Brad Holland, the Toreros won 10 of their 13 non-conference games. Of its three losses, USD dropped a two-point contest at UC Santa Barbara and an overtime decision at home to Texas-Arlington. The only other blemish was an 11-point loss at San Jose State.

Santa Clara owns a 32-24 series edge over USD since the first game during the 1963-64 season. Over the last 16 meetings, however, the two teams have split the series with eight wins apiece.

The Broncos are 5-5 in Jenny Craig Pavilion, which includes a 3-2 mark against San Diego and a 2-3 record in WCC Championships games that were played in the six-year-old facility.

After the San Diego contest, Santa Clara returns to Southern California the following weekend for games at Loyola Marymount on Jan. 21 and Pepperdine on Jan. 23. SCU returns to the Leavey Center on Jan. 28 for a matchup against rival San Francisco.