Welcoming Pepperdine in the two team's 124th meeting all-time, Santa Clara will close out the regular season home slate in the Leavey Center at 7 pm on Thurs., Feb. 23. The regionally televised game with the Waves will be shown on COMCAST California with Ted Robinson and Dan Belluomini making the call.
The Broncos will honor lone senior Phillip Bach, a four-year walk-on, prior to the game.
Santa Clara leads the overall series 68-55, including 40-19 in Santa Clara. The Broncos have won three of the last four games vs. the Waves. Santa Clara swept the season series last season against Pepperdine, but the Waves got the best of the Broncos earlier this season in Malibu when Pepperdine won 74-62 on Jan. 28, 2012.
Pepperdine is working under the direction of first year head coach Marty Wilson, a 1989 graduate of Pepperdine. The Waves are 9-18 and 3-12 in the WCC, including 3-10 on the road. Pepperdine is in search of its first WCC road win this season, bringing an 0-7 league road record to the Leavey Center. Wilson's first WCC victory as a head coach came at home in his WCC coaching debut when the Waves dumped USF 77-61 on Dec. 29, 2011.
The Waves are led by Darby Taylor's 12.0 ppg. Corbin Moore grabs a team-leading 8.4 rpg and is second on the team with 10.3 ppg. In league play Jordan Baker leads the team with 11.6 ppg and Darby is second with 11.5 ppg.
Look and Listen
The Pepperdine game will be broadcast regionally on COMCAST California with Ted Robinson and Dan Belluomini making the call. Tip-off is set for 7:05 pm.
The Pepperdine game will also be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 7:00 p.m. on KDOW 1220AM. Anthony Passarelli is in his fifth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.
Santa Clara is 8-19 and 0-14 in the WCC this season. It has lost 15 straight dating back to its 75-55 win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29, 2011. The losing streak started with a last-second miracle shot by Wagner on Dec. 30, 2011 as the Broncos fell 64-62 in the 45th annual Cable Car Classic Championship game. It is the longest losing streak in school history.
Santa Clara dropped both nationally-televised games at home last week. On Feb. 16 it lost 73-62 to No. 23 Gonzaga and then 82-67 to BYU on Feb. 18. Both games were sell-outs.
Santa Clara is averaging 70.1 ppg, including 68.6 ppg in league play. The Broncos are giving up 75.6 ppg, including 81.6 ppg in league play. Santa Clara has lost 12 of its 14 WCC games by 10+ points. It lost by five at San Diego on Feb. 4 and by six to Portland on Feb. 2.
The Broncos have two players averaging double figures: Roquemore scores 13.7 ppg and Harrison adds 10.6 ppg. Roquemore has a team-leading 5.4 apg. Harrison leads the team on the boards with 6.1 rpg and Yannick Atanga is second with 5.0 rpg.
Three Broncos average double figures in conference play as Roquemore scores 13.1 ppg, Harrison collects 11.6 ppg and Raymond Cowels III scores 10.4 ppg. Harrison is the leading rebounder in league play with 5.4 rpg and Roquemore paces the team with 4.9 apg.
Denzel Johnson's 26 points off the bench vs. USF on Jan. 26 are the highest point total by a Bronco this year in a WCC game. He has scored 17+ in five of the last eight games, including 20 at USF on Feb. 9 and 17 at then-No. 13 Saint Mary's on Feb. 11.
Harrison has 15 6+ rebound games this year, pulling down nine rebounds with a career-high 23 points vs. Saint Mary's. Raymond Cowels III has 3+ threes in 12 games this season, including a career-high six 3s vs. Villanova.
As a result of an incident on Jan. 21, Kevin Foster was suspended by Santa Clara University for the remainder of the season. Foster went through the Santa Clara University student judicial process and the Office of Student Life informed Foster of the decision on Feb. 13. Foster missed seven games during the process and will miss the remaining four regular season games and the WCC Tournament. Foster is the West Coast Conference's leading scorer with 17.8 ppg, including 3.56 threes per game.
Niyi Harrison started the BYU game and scored 19 points. Brandon Clark came off the bench and scored 19 points as well. Harrison was 7 of 9 from the field and 5 of 8 from the free throw line. B. Clark was 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc and he made both free throw attempts.
The 19 points is a career-high for Clark. He has scored 10+ points six other times this season, with a career-high 16 points at Portland off the bench on Jan. 5.
It is the fourth time this season Harrison has scored 19+ points with his 23 points vs. Saint Mary's on Jan. 21 being his career high thus far. Harrison also scored 19 in the win over New Mexico on Nov. 24 and the loss at Portland on Jan. 5.
Santa Clara hit 14 of 23 three-pointers on Feb. 9 at USF. It was the third time this season it has hit 14 threes with the Broncos hitting 14 vs. UC Merced on Nov. 11, 2011 and then vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25, 2011. Sounds almost commonplace? Not so fast. It was one off tying the school record set by the Broncos on March 5, 2001 when they hit 15 vs. Gonzaga. Prior to this season, Santa Clara had hit 14 threes one other time in school history, at Pepperdine on Feb. 14, 2004.
Four players had three plus threes in the game. Denzel Johnson was 4 of 6 beyond the arc, Evan Roquemore was 4 of 8, Brandon Clark was 3 of 3 and Raymond Cowels III was 3 of 6.
The Broncos are No. 30 nationally in threes per game and also lead the WCC with 8.2 threes made per game. The Broncos have shot 598 three pointers this year and the opponents have shot 429. In return, the Broncos have made 63 threes more than their opponents (221 to 158 made). Of the 1,565 shots attempted by the Broncos this year, 38.2% have come beyond the arc and they hit 37.0 percent beyond the arc. The opponents are shooting 36.8 percent beyond the arc and 29.5 percent of their field goal attempts are coming from beyond the arc.
Quick Look Back
The Broncos were exceptional from beyond the arc against Gonzaga. Prior to the game, the Broncos were shooting .366 from beyond the arc but went 10-21 (.476) including 7-12 (.583) in the second half. Raymond Cowels III was 3-6, Brandon Clark went 2-4 and Evan Roquemore was 4-7. It was the third game in a row that Roquemore has shot .500 or better from three point land.
On the defensive side of the ball Santa Clara held the Bulldogs to only .333 from three, opposed to a .400 mark for the season, including .143 in the first half. The Zags had shot .367 from beyond the arc on the season.
Roquemore dropped 20+ points for the fourth time this season against the No. 23 Bulldogs. His 21 points and four three's matched his totals from the Broncos Feb. 9 game at USF. Before the USF game Roquemore had gone 17 games without scoring over 20.
Free Throws, Turnovers
After leading the nation in free throws last year, the Broncos have shot less free throws this year than the opponents have made. Santa Clara's opponents are 528 of 722 from the free throw line, making 73.1 percent. Santa Clara is 372 of 522 from the free throw line, hitting 71.3 percent.
On Feb. 9 at USF the Broncos were a season-low 1 of 3 from the free throw line as compared to USF's 15 of 23 effort. It was the fewest number of free throws made since Santa Clara was 1 of 9 vs. Mississippi State on Dec. 20, 2003 in a 66-61 OT loss. It was the fewest free throws since it attempted three at LMU on Jan. 24, 1986 (was 2 of 3 in a 55-54 loss). The fewest under Keating previously: three made vs. San Diego on Feb. 23, 2008 and the fewest shot: five vs. Sacramento St. on Dec., 6, 2008.
Santa Clara turned the ball over just seven times vs. No. 23 Gonzaga. It tied a team-low under Coach Keating. The last time it turned the ball over seven times: it fell 63-62 on a last-second three by Patty Mills at Saint Mary's on Jan. 10, 2009. The Broncos are No. 50 nationally in turnovers per game with 12.2 per game.
Raymond Cowels III has had success from deep range with 11 games of 3+ three-pointers including six vs. Villanova. He has also shot 83.3 percent or better from the line in eight games, proving to be a reliable free-throw shooter.
After playing 24.0 mpg with 7.3 ppg his freshman year with 11 starts in 32 games, Cowels III played 15.3 mpg, scoring 5.4 ppg last season, including starting nine of the 37 games he played in. This season he has started each of the 27 games the Broncos have played this season, averaging a single-season high of 27.0 mpg. He hit a then-single-season high 46 threes in his rookie season and already has 51 threes this season. He is shooting a career-high 41.5 percent from beyond the arc. He is the only Bronco to start every game this season.
Looking back for a second, Santa Clara finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC guard Kevin Foster collecting MVP honors.
\iT\ih\ie\i \iB\ia\id\i \iN\ie\iw\is\i: Santa Clara lost a couple important parts of the 2011-12 team within about 40 hours on two different continents in early September. First, signee/sophomore transfer Chris Caird suffered a torn ACL/MCL on Sept. 4 playing pick up in Iceland prior to the joining the team on Sept. 11. He was expected to play a key role for the Broncos this year. Due to the surgery and recovery, he didn't come to Santa Clara this year. Then on Sept. 6, All-WCC junior forward Marc Trasolini suffered a torn ACL in the first two minutes of Santa Clara's first game of its foreign tour in Trasolini's hometown of Vancouver at Trinity Western. Trasolini tore his ACL pushing off the ground on a five-foot jumper.
\iT\ih\ie\i \iG\io\io\id\i \iN\ie\iw\is\i:\i Every Santa Clara player will return next season with the exception of senior walk-on Phillip Bach.
With that said, Santa Clara is one of the youngest teams in the country with its 11 scholarship players this season totalling just eight years of total court time (no seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen). With no Foster in the lineup for the last seven games and now the rest of the season, Santa Clara now tallies six total years of court time with its 10 available scholarship players. Six Years! In addition to leadership, SCU is without its top three rebounders from last season (Trasolini and graduation of Ben Dowdell and WCC Defender of the Year Troy Payne).
On Saturday night vs. BYU the Broncos started two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. Brandon Clark and Denzel Johnson both started at USF and at No. 13 Saint Mary's. The next five players off the bench, including walk-on Jordan Akwenuke, were all freshmen. Five freshmen have started in the last eight games, including Brandon Clark (started first career game vs. USF), Denzel Johnson (second career start at Pepperdine), Yannick Atanga (second career start vs. LMU), Robert Garrett (first career start vs. LMU) and Julian Clarke (first career start vs. LMU).
With Chris Caird and Marc Trasolini lost for the season and Kevin Foster gone from competition since Jan. 21, Kerry Keating had to look down to the end of the bench for help when Evan Roquemore was slowed by a sprained foot the last two weeks. In stepped freshman Demetri Posey, a manager from Portland, Ore. Posey dressed for the first time at USF on Feb. 9 and will continue to dress the rest of the season. A graduate of Central Catholic High School, Posey, 5-10 and 175 pounds, played less than a minute at USF on Feb. 9.
Santa Clara has started eight different line-ups this season, including a new line-up on Feb. 9 with Brandon Clark replacing Evan Roquemore due to a strained foot (Roquemore did play). Santa Clara started the same line-up at then-No. 13 Saint Mary's: Clark, Denzel Johnson, Raymond Cowels III, Niyi Harrison and John McArthur. Santa Clara started Roquemore, Johnson, Cowels III, McArthur and Harrison vs. BYU.
The line-up of Kevin Foster, Roquemore, Cowels III, Harrison and McArthur has started a majority of the games (15).
Santa Clara's leading scorer has been one of six players this year. Only twice in 27 games did the leading scorer come off the bench (26 points, Denzel Johnson, vs. USF, Jan. 26; Brandon Clark tied with Harrison for 19 points each to lead the team). Foster led the team in scoring 10 times (including tied with Cowels III once), Roquemore five times, Harrison and Johnson three times and Cowels III (with one of Cowel's leading-scoring games coming the night he and Foster scored 14 each vs. Pacifica) twice. McArthur had led the team in scoring once this season. Roquemore has a team-high 27 points this season vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25. Foster scored 26 points twice (vs. New Mexico and vs. Pacific) and Johnson scored 26 (vs. USF) once, a career high. Clark and Johnson led the team in scoring vs. BYU with 19 points each.
Santa Clara's leading rebounder has been Harrison, Atanga or McArthur all but two games. Cowels III led the team in rebounding twice this season: at Gonzaga and at No. 13 Saint Mary's. Harrison has led the team 12 times and been tied for the team-lead four other times. Atanga has led the team 10 times and been tied for the team lead three times. McArthur has led the team three times and been tied for the team lead two times.
Roquemore has led the team in assists 15 times this season. Foster has led the team in seven games and Brandon Clark three times (including once being tied with Roquemore).
The Broncos need to score 80+ points each night! The Broncos have scored in the 80s three times this season, winning all three games (vs. UC Merced, vs. San Jose State and vs. Pacifica). It is 23-2 under Coach Keating in five years when scoring 80+.
The Broncos have scored between 60 and 79 points 22 times this year and their record is 5-17 in those games, including 1-10 when scoring 60-69. Coach Keating's record when scoring between 60 and 79 points in his five years is 43-52. When the team has scored between 60 and 69 he is 21-36. When scoring between 70 and 79 points in a game, he is 22-16 at Santa Clara.
When scoring less than 60, the Broncos are 0-2 this season (56 at UC Santa Barbara and 55 at Washington State). When scoring less than 60 under Coach Keating, the Broncos are 7-35 in the last five years.
Combining points and rebounds, Niyi Harrison has three double-doubles in his career and John McArthur has two, both this season. Combining points and assists, Evan Roquemore has two with both coming this season.
Harrison has two double-double's this season: his first this season was in Santa Clara's 71-58 victory over Cal State Northridge when he scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds. His second this season was in the 75-55 win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29 when he collected 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. His first career double-double came during his freshman year against Northeastern on Dec. 29, 2009 when he finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Harrison has "missed" a double-double three times this season with nine rebounds in those games. Those games: 10 points, nine rebounds vs. Wagner; 23 points, nine rebounds vs. then-No. 23 Saint Mary's and 11 points, nine rebounds vs. LMU.
McArthur's two double-doubles both came this season. He scored 19 points with 10 rebounds vs. San Jose State and then collected 12 points and 12 rebounds at Houston Baptist.
Roquemore's first career double-double was vs. Oklahoma when he scored 27 points and added 10 assists. He collected his second career double-double vs. Pacific when he scored 14 and dished out a career-high 11 assists.