Basketball Travels to Pacific Saturday Night

Dec. 19, 2008

Santa Clara, 5-5, travels to Stockton for a 7:30 pm game at Pacific on Sat., Dec. 20. The Tigers, 5-3, have won two of their last three, including a 73-55 win at Pepperdine on Dec. 13. The Broncos lead the series 86-37, but lost 71-65 the last time the two played, Dec. 12, 2007, in the Leavey Center.

Santa Clara will return home on Tues., Dec. 23 to play Stanford in an 8 pm ESPNU televised game. The Broncos remain at home for the Cable Car Classic Dec. 29 and 30 when they take on Belmont in the first day of competition, Mon., Dec. 29, at 6 pm. All-time leading scorer Kurt Rambis' jersey will be retired at half-time of the Belmont game with Rambis, his family and a number of former teammates and staff on hand for the very special day!

Santa Clara lost 78-66 at UNLV on Wed., Dec. 17. It was the first time this year the Broncos have seen five players score in double figures with the last time being a 101-86 win vs. Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008. The Vegas game featured the Bronco debut of Decensae White, a 6-6, 230lb. guard/forward from Pacificia, Calif. and he made the most of it, scoring 10 points with five rebounds. White transferred after playing two years at Texas Tech last December. His freshman year with the Red Raiders he started two games and averaged 4.4 ppg and 2.2 rpg in 13.8 mpg.

Prior to UNLV, Santa Clara defeated Notre Dame de Namur 67-47 on Sat., Dec. 13 behind Kevin Foster's 17 points, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. John Bryant put in 15 and James Rahon scored 13. Ben Dowdell collected a game-high seven rebounds and Michael Santos added six.

The Broncos' third victory in the four-game winning streak was a 51-32 win over Sacramento State at home. The 32 points for the Hornets were the fewest a team had scored against SCU since Feb. 14, 1961 when Santa Clara defeated San Jose State, 30-29. It was also the fewest points Sacramento State had scored as a Division I team, dating back to 1991-92. In addition, the Broncos blocked 10 shots and had just 10 turnovers, both bests under second-year head coach Kerry Keating.

The Broncos won 71-68 at Montana Nov. 30 and then defeated cross-town rival San Jose State 59-56 on Dec. 3 behind John Bryant's 21 rebounds and 20 points.

Prior to the four-game winning streak, the Broncos played in the NIT Season Tip-off Tournament with two games in Arizona Nov. 17 and 18 (lost to UAB and Florida Atlantic) and two games at Georgia Nov. 24 and 25 (lost at Georgia and to Arizona).

Starting seven of the first eight games, freshman point guard Troy Alexander sat out the NDNU game after suffering a left shoulder sprain in the Sacramento State game. Alexander, who averages 21.3 mpg and leads the team with 2.5 apg, is listed as day to day. Marc Trasolini did not play vs. NDNU as he is nursing a sore back and is listed day to day.

LISTEN!

The Santa Clara-Pacific game will be broadcast live at 7:30 pm via the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The pregame show will begin at 7 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his second season as the Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.

In addition, head coach Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 8:30 - 9 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble. The Sports Ramble, hosted by Chetan Chaudhari, runs on KDOW 1220 AM from 8 - 10 pm on Sunday evenings. If you are out of the listening area Bronco fans, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com so go to their website and listen live!

Pacific's last time out

Behind a school-record 17 steals, Pacific won at Pepperdine on Sat., Dec. 13, 73-55. After falling behind 5-2, the Tigers outscored the Waves 19-7 over the next six minutes to take a 21-12 lead. Pepperdine then cut the lead to 22-17, before Pacific surged back ahead by 12 with a 12-5 run.

The Tigers opened up the second half with a 18-5 run, with Chad Troyer scoring seven points in the run to give Pacific a 52-33 lead with 13:23 remaining. The lead did not fall below 16 points the rest of the way as the Tigers cruised to the victory. Troyer led the Tigers with a season-high 17 points, hitting three three-pointers. James Doran added 12 points while junior Joe Ford had 11 points and tied his career-high with four steals. Willard had 11 rebounds to lead the Tigers on the boards. Lavar Neufville had a career-high five steals.

at Pacific

Pacific, 5-3, is 3-1 at home this year with a two-point loss to Fresno State on Dec. 6 (66-64). The Tigers are led by Bryan LeDuc's 10.6 ppg. Sam Williard hauls in the top number in rebounds with 7.3 rpg. The Tigers return two starters and five lettermen from a team that went 12-19 last year and finished tied for sixth in the Big West at 5-9.

They are led by head coach Bob Thomason who is in his 21st year at UP and has a record of 348-253 with the Tigers. He has more Big West experience at his current school than any other coach in the Big West Conference. After leading the Tigers to a 27-4 record in 2004-05, Thomason was named as a finalist for the CollegeInsider.com Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award and received USBWA District 9 Coach of the Year honors. Thomason is the second coach in Big West history to record 300 wins during Big West membership.

Leading the way

Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year with 17.8 ppg and 12.3 rpg. He has 31 double-doubles in his career, including seven this season (vs. CSU East Bay, vs. UAB, at Georgia, at Montana, at San Jose State, vs. Sacramento State and at UNLV). For the second straight week he is ranked the No. 7 center nationally by rivals.com.

Two freshmen continue to hover around double-figures: Kevin Foster is averaging 11.2 ppg and James Rahon puts in 10.5 ppg off the bench.

Bryant leads the team with 12.3 rpg with sophomore Ben Dowdell averaging 3.7 rpg as the second-best. Bryant leads the Broncos with 2.4 bpg and 61% from the field with Rahon knocking down 43% from beyond the arc.

SCU is scoring 61.8 ppg to the opponents 57.3; and shooting 46% from the field and 34% from the three-point line. The Broncos are out-rebounding their opponents by 5.1 rpg, but turning the ball over 15.7 times a game to their opponents own 13.5 turnovers per game. Santa Clara had just 10 turnovers vs. Sacramento State and then Notre Dame de Namur, its lowest totals since the Broncos turned the ball over nine times vs. Saint Mary's on March 4, 2007.

 

Big John

Already the school record holder in blocks (186), John Bryant is inching closer to Dennis Awtrey's school record of 1,135 rebounds. At No. 6 on the career list, Bryant has 808 career rebounds and needs seven to move past Jens Gordon at No. 5 (814, 1985-89). He is just the sixth player to collect 800+ rebounds in school history.

He is No. 19 in career points at 1,249. He needs 32 points to move to No. 16 and he needs to hit 487 points to pass career school-record holder Kurt Rambis who scored 1,736 point during his Bronco career.