Santa Clara closes out its regular season home schedule Saturday with Saint Mary's. The Broncos will host the Gaels on Sat., Feb. 22 at 1 pm. The game will be shown live on Comcast with Barry Tompkins and Jarron Collins making the call. It will also be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM and SantaClaraBroncos.com as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
The Broncos are 12-16 and 5-10 in the WCC. Santa Clara defeated Pacific 70-50 Thursday behind the 17 points of Brandon Clark and 14 more from Jared Brownridge. The Gaels are 19-9, including 9-6 in the WCC. They lost 73-62 on Thursday at USF. Entering Saturday's game, Saint Mary's is sitting in fourth place in the WCC and the Broncos are tied for eighth place.
Three Broncos have averaged double figures all season: Clark, Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. With Clark and Brownridge starting each of Santa Clara's 28 games this year, Clark averages 17.0 and Brownridge 16.7. Roquemore adds 10.4 ppg off the bench. In WCC games, Brownridge is averaging 18.5 ppg and Clark adds 18.1.
Prior to this year, Clark hadn't scored 20+ points in a college or high school game since he scored 29 in an AAU game in eighth grade. Clark is having an All-WCC-type season as he has scored 20+ 13 times this season, including 20+ in eight of the 15 WCC games this year. His 13 20+ games are tied for third-most since 2000-01. Tops on the list since 2000-01 - Kevin Foster scored 20+ 20 times in 2012-13.
Brownridge has scored 20+ points 11 times this year - second-best for a Bronco freshman since 1990-91. Foster scored 20+ points 11 times his freshman season. Brownridge has led the Broncos in scoring 11 times this year and has scored double-digits in 22 games.
Hail to the Seniors
Santa Clara will celebrate its seniors so arrive early for the pre-game ceremony! Senior manager Jerold Evans will be honored along with seniors Evan Roquemore, John McArthur and Jerry Brown. In addition, redshirt-junior Julian Clarke will graduate in June and is working to apply for medical school so he will forego his senior year at Santa Clara. Remember - come early to give them a hand for all their hard work!
With Jared Brownridge crushing a three at the top of the key with 1.2 seconds left to put the Broncos up by two, Santa Clara won 57-55 at Saint Mary's on Jan. 9 in the team's first meeting this year. The Broncos had trailed by 13 in the first half at 2:34.
Santa Clara shot 47.1 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc. They collected 30 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, nine blocks and had 10 turnovers. Brownridge scored 23 and was 10 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 5 from the three. He added a team-high six rebounds. Brandon Clark, had 20 points, five rebounds and two assists. Yannick Atanga had five rebounds and two blocks.
Saint Mary's shot 37.5 percent from the field, including 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Gaels shot 60.0 percent from the free throw line. They collected 36 rebounds, eight assists, six steals, eight blocks and had seven turnovers. The Gaels were led by Brad Waldow, who scored 17 points and added 14 rebounds. Beau Levesque scored 12 points and two blocks. James Walker III had 12 points.
Us vs. Them
The two long-time rivals and original WCC members continue their series that began in 1910. They will be playing for the 216th time. Santa Clara has played Saint Mary's more than any other team in the school's 107-year basketball history and leads the series 132-83.
Santa Clara's last win in Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's was a 70-52 victory on Feb. 7, 2009. Kevin Foster led the team with 26 points and John Bryant grabbed 15 boards in the victory at the Leavey Center. Earlier that year, Foster scored 31 points and the Broncos lost at the buzzer on a three by Patty Mills (63-62, Jan. 9, 2009).
With 962 career points, Brandon Clark will be the next Bronco to reach 1,000 career points when he scores 38 more points. He will be the 32nd Bronco with 1,000 plus points in his career and the seventh under head coach Kerry Keating.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 12 with 1,563 career points. He needs nine points to pass No. 11 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05) and with 24 points he will pass No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55).
Last year's Bronco team was the first team in WCC history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
Evan Roquemore enters the Saint Mary's game with 569 career assists, a Bronco school record. Roquemore is No. 9 all-time in the WCC, passing Gonzaga's John Stockton (554, 1980-84) vs. Portland on Feb. 1. He needs five assists to pass Portland's Darwin Cook (573, 1976-80).
Roquemore broke the Bronco career assists record vs. Radford on Dec. 16 with a dandy dish to Jared Brownridge in the first half, topping Brian Jones (517, 1996-2001). Last year Roquemore set the single season assists record with 196, topping John Woolery (190, 1993-94).
Roquemore has collected an assist in 127 of 130 career games. He was credited with no assists three times this year: at Cal Poly, vs. Gonzaga and at BYU. Looking back, Jones missed an assist in just three games (Dec. 21, 1996 at Pacific, Jan. 22, 1997 at USF; and March 4, 2000 vs. USF). Jones only had one game his final three years without an assist (USF, 2000). Steve Nash had eight games his freshman year with no assists, but the final three years of his career he had at least one assist in every game he played in during his Bronco career.
He's just the third player in school history to collect 1,500+ points and 500+ assists. The other two: Jones (1,722 pts., 517 asts., 1996-01) and Nash (1,689 pts., 510 asts., 1992-96).
On Thursday's win vs. Pacific he was credited with four assists, but went without a field goal (0-8) for just the third time in his career - a first during his career in regular season play. Both of his games without field goals came on March 25 oddly enough. He was 0-4 at Purdue on March 25, 2013 and 0-10 at SMU March 25, 2011. Those first two were post-season games on the road.
Jared Brownridge is on pace to break five Bronco freshman records. The first freshman school records for points per game, three point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Those records belong to Kurt Rambis and Steve Nash.
Brownridge averages 16.7 ppg and Rambis averaged 15.3 his freshman year (1976-77). Brownridge hits 41.4 percent of his threes and Nash scored 40.8 percent (1992-93). Nash also scored 82.5 percent of his free throws and Brownridge is making 86.4 percent from the free throw line.
With at least four games left, Brownridge is also on pace to shatter two of Kevin Foster's records from his freshman year (2008-09). Foster scored 486 points and made 85 threes his freshman year. Brownridge, who has scored 468 points and made 77 threes, averages 16.7 ppg and 2.8 threes per game. If he hits his averages in the next four plus games, he would score at least 535 points and make at least 88 threes - both new freshman records. Those numbers would put him at No. 15 all-time in a single season for points and No. 3 all-time for threes in a single season.
Brandon Clark leads the Broncos with 17.0 ppg, 3.4 apg and 1.3 spg. If he finishes the season at the top of all three, he would be the first Bronco since Brandon Rohe in 2002-03 to do this (10.6 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg). Clark scored zero points in the season opener vs. Bethesda, but has since scored double figures in 24 of the last 27 games. Clark has scored 20+ in eight WCC games this season. All told, Clark has scored 20+ 13 times this year, including a career-high 32 points vs. N.D. State on Nov. 29. During a four-game span (Nov. 12-29), he scored 21+ points in each game; and he was the fourth Bronco player since 2007-08 to accomplish this feat. Scoring 30 points vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 18, he was the 13th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games in a single season.
Clark has scored almost 1/4 of his points at the free throw line this year, hitting 85.9 percent (116 of 135). Clark scored a WCC career-high with 26 points vs. LMU on Jan. 4 (career high is 32 vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29). Half of Clark's points vs. the Lions came at the free throw line, as the East Chicago, Ind. native went 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
Jared Brownridge is the top scoring freshman in the WCC and should receive serious consideration for WCC Freshman of the Year. He is averaging 18.5 ppg in WCC play, which is No. 2 in the league and tops among the rookies. He has scored 20+ 11 times already this season, including six times in WCC play; and barely missed 20 vs. USD on Jan. 16 (19 points). Brownridge leads the Broncos in threes made (77) and attempted (186). Brownridge is shooting a team-high 41.4 percent beyond the arc. He and Kevin Foster are the only two Bronco freshman to hit 75+ threes as rookies.
Brownridge has started all 28 games this season and he has scored 16+ points in 17 games thus far, including 15 games with 3+ threes made and 22 double-figure games. Brownridge has collected 5+ threes four times. Foster accomplished this feat three times in his 33-game rookie season (5 vs. Arizona, Nov. 25, 2008; at Saint Mary's, Jan. 9, 2009; and at LMU, Feb. 14, 2009). All told, Foster scored seven threes twice, eight threes twice and nine threes once (the school record for a single game).
Brownridge scored a career-high 30 points vs. BYU on Jan. 18, adding four threes and hitting 8 of 8 free throws. He followed that performance up with 30 points at USF on Jan. 25, adding five threes and scoring 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Only three Bronco player have had back-to-back 30+ point games: Dennis Awtrey (March 1 and 7, 1969); Kurt Rambis (Jan. 4 and 5, 1980) and Kevin Foster (March 25 and 27, 2013). Awtrey and Rambis both scored 30+ in back-to-back WCC games as did Brownridge and Foster's came in SCU's CBI title run at Purdue and Wright State. He is the 17th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games and the 14th in school history to do it more than once in a single season. He has scored single digits just twice in WCC play this season (7 at Pacific, 6 vs. Gonzaga). He has a three in every game this year with the exception of at BYU on Feb. 6 (0-6), vs. Gonzaga on Jan. 29 (0-1) and vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 18 (0 for 3).
Brownridge and Brandon Clark are just the second set of Bronco teammates to have multiple 30 point games in the same season. The only other set of SCU teammates to accomplish this: Rambis and Londale Theus did in the 1979-80 season. Theus scored 30+ twice that season (Jan. 25, 1980 and March 2, 1980) and Rambis scored 30+ three times (Jan. 4, 1980, Jan. 5, 1980 and Jan. 25, 1980).