Rivalry Series Renews Tuesday

Rivalry Series Renews Tuesday

Nov. 27, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Few things bring out the emotion of college athletics like a good old fashioned rivalry.

For fans and alumni of Santa Clara University and San Jose State, two schools located just four miles apart, Tuesday night's men's basketball game between the two schools will provide an opportunity for one side to earn bragging rights for the next 12 months.

Santa Clara travels to The Event Center on the SJSU campus for an 8 p.m. tipoff in its annual series against the Spartans. Tickets are available by calling 408/924-7589.

In addition to the game itself, the winning team earns three points toward the annual Rivalry Series, an all-sports competition between the two schools. After winning four of the first head-to-head competitions during the fall season, Santa Clara owns an 11-2 lead in the Rivalry Series heading into the game. For more information on the Rivalry Series, click here.

"There is most certainly a greater sense of spirit when we play San Jose State."
Michael Zozos, Ruff Riders co-president

"There is most certainly a greater sense of spirit when we play San Jose State," said Michael Zozos, co-president of the Ruff Riders, SCU's student spirit organization. "The students get a little more excited when we play the Spartans and we definitely have a healthy rivalry going. There is nothing like having one up on a rival."

Santa Clara enters Tuesday's game with a 2-1 overall record after erasing a 14-point first half deficit to defeat the University of the Pacific by a score of 63-60 Saturday night at the Leavey Center. Senior forward Travis Niesen led all scorers with 28 points despite not scoring a field goal for the first 17:20 of the game. Brody Angley scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, while Mitch Henke chipped-in eight points and pulled-down 10 boards. SCU shot just 23 percent in the first half, but reversed that with a 55 percent effort in the second. The Broncos outrebounded Pacific 43-33.

SCU opened the season with a decisive 97-53 win over Cal State Stanislaus, then dropped a 78-70 decision at UC Irvine a week ago. Niesen leads the Broncos in scoring with a 22.7 per game average, while Mitch Henke (11.7 ppg) and Calvin Johnson (11.3 ppg) are also scoring in double figures. Four SCU players average more than six rebounds per game, led by freshman John Bryant's 7.7 per game.

San Jose State is 3-1 on the season and currently rides a three-game win streak. The Spartans opened the season with an 88-54 loss at Texas Tech, then defeated Portland (82-53), Cal Poly (72-57) and San Diego (79-68).

Demitrius Brown leads the Spartans in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game. Matt Misko is the only other SJSU player in double-figures with a 10.8 per game scoring average.

Three of the last four contests between San Jose State and Santa Clara have been decided by just two points. Last season, Doron Perkins scored 10 of his game-high 18 points during a four-minute stretch in the second half that led to Santa Clara's 73-60 victory at the Leavey Center.

Two seasons ago, Perkins scored 17 points, including a pair of clinching free throws in the final seconds, and Santa Clara defeated San Jose State 66-64 at The Event Center. In 2002, Brandon Hawkins' jump shot from the foul line with 3.9 seconds remaining lifted San Jose State to a 71-69 victory at the Leavey Center.

Santa Clara has won seven of the last eight contests between the two schools and owns a 67-27 series edge over the Spartans since the first meeting during the 1909-10 season.

Following the San Jose State contest, Santa Clara travels to Starkville, Miss. for a Saturday night game against Mississippi State. Following a break for final exams, Santa Clara hosts Cal Poly on Dec. 10. For tickets, call 408/554-4660 or click here.