Santa Clara opens the WCC Championship on Thurs., March 6 with an 8 pm match-up with Pacific. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and TheWtv with Dave McCann and Blaine Fowler making the call. The Pacific game will 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.
If the Broncos win, they will advance to the quarterfinals to play Gonzaga at 6 pm on Sat., March 8. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The Broncos are 13-18 and 6-12 in the WCC. Pacific is 15-14 and 6-12 in the WCC. SCU leads the all-time series 90-42 vs. Pacific, with SCU winning three of the last four contests. Pacific, along with SCU, was an original member of what is now the WCC, joining in 1952-53 to form the California Basketball Association. Pacific left the league in 1971, but accepted an invitation back to the WCC beginning on July 1, 2013.
Three Broncos have averaged double figures all season: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark averages 17.0, Brownridge 16.9 and Roquemore adds 10.4 ppg off the bench. In WCC games, Brownridge averages 18.4 and Clark 17.9.
Brownridge was named the Crons WCC Newcomer of the Year on Monday and is No. 4 on the Bay Area's all-time freshman points scored list. He was also named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team with Clark as well as the WCC All-Freshman team. Brownridge, who led the league in threes and finished second in points, has started every game for the Broncos while Clark has started 30 of the team's 31 games this season, coming off the bench on Senior Day on Feb. 22.
Most 30 pt games in a season:
Dennis Awtrey 5 (68-69)
Kevin Foster 4 (12-13)
Steve Nash 4 (94-95)
Jared Brownridge 3 (13-14)
Kevin Foster 3 (10-11)
Londale Theus 3 (78-79)
Kurt Rambis 3 (79-80)
Last Time We Played
Brandon Clark scored a game-high 17 points and the Broncos used a stifling defense in posting a 70-50 win over Pacific on Feb. 20 at Leavey Center. Santa Clara held UOP to a season-low point total and allowed the Tigers to shoot just 32 percent from the field, their second-lowest mark of the year. Both teams made nine field goals in the second half but the Broncos went 19 of 24 from the charity stripe to secure the win.
Santa Clara shot 35.7% from the field, including 29.6% from beyond the arc and 78.6% from the free throw line. Jared Brownridge chipped in with 16 points making four three-point shots, and Nate Kratch tied his career-high with three three-pointers for nine points. Kratch also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds while Atanga and Jerry Brown added six each.
Pacific shot 32% from the field, including 11.1% from beyond the arc and 94.4% from the free throw line. Tony Gill was the only Pacific player in double figures with 10. Gabriel Aguirre and Ross Rivera added eight each. Gill and Trevin Harris topped the Tigers with six rebounds apiece.
Brandon Clark (528) and Jared Brownridge (523) have combined to score 1,051 points this season, good enough to be the eighth-best tandem in school history. It is just the fourth time in school history a pair has scored 500+ points each in a single season; and it happened in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. Kevin Foster (732) and Marc Trasolini (587) each scored 500+ each in 2012-13.
Brownridge has scored 20+ points 12 times this year - tops for a Bronco freshman since 1990-91. Brownridge has led the Broncos in scoring 12 times this year and has scored double-digits in 24 games.
All-time Top Freshman
Bay Area Scorers
1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Cal 590
2. Winford Boynes, USF 542
3. Ryan Anderson, Cal 539
4. Jared Brownridge, SCU 523
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 has scored 20+ 13 times this year, including 20+ in eight WCC games. His 13 20+ games are tied for third-most since 2000-01. Tops on the list since 2000-01 - Foster scored 20+ 20 times in 2012-13. Clark has scored 10+ in 21 straight games this year.
He became the 32nd Bronco with 1,000 plus points in his career and the seventh under head coach Kerry Keating when he scored 18 at Pepperdine. Clark is No. 31 in career points (1,013), No. 8 in three point percentage (37.7) and No. 4 in free throw percentage (83.0).
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Evan Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 10 with 1,598 career points. He needs 46 points to pass No. 9 Londale Theus (1,643, 1976-80). 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).
History In the Making
Already the assists career record holder, Roquemore broke the school record for career free throws in the second half at LMU on Feb. 27 with his 7 of 10 performance. In addition, Roquemore needs to log four more minutes to break Kevin Foster's career minutes played school record (4,212, 2008-13).
On the cover of Sports Illustrated his senior year, Ken Sears' 470 free throws made career record stood for 59 years before Roquemore passed him on Feb. 27. Sears also holds the record for free throws attempted at 608 (1951-55). Roquemore is No. 2 all-time with 589 free throws attempted.
Roquemore enters the Pacific game with 578 career assists, a Bronco school record. Roquemore is No. 8 all-time in the WCC, passing Gonzaga's then-No. 9 John Stockton (554, 1980-84) vs. Portland on Feb. 1 and then-No. 8 Portland's Darwin Cook at No. 8 (573, 1976-80) on Feb. 27. He needs 12 more assists to move to No. 7, dishing past Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo (589, 2005-09).
WCC Career Assist Leaders
1. Orlando Smart, USF 902 1990-94
2. Terrell Lowery, LMU 689 1988-92
3. Matt Santangelo, GON 668 1997-00
4. Carl Ervin, SEA 659 1977-80
5. Blake Stepp, GON 640 2000-04
6. Keith Smith, LMU 594 1982-86
7. Jeremy Pargo, GON 589 2005-09
8. Evan Roquemore, SCU 578 2010-14
9. Darwin Cook, POR 573 1976-80
10. John Stockton, GON 554 1980-84
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 130 of 133 career games. His first three seasons he had at least one assist in each game. He has been 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).
Twice this season he has gone without a field goal, but it is just the fourth time in his career. In the Feb. 20 win vs. Pacific Roquemore was credited with four assists, but went without a field goal (0-8). At Pepperdine on March 1, Roquemore was 0-2 from the field. Prior to this year, 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.
Coming off his 38 point performance at Pepperdine on March 1, where he hit 7 of 9 from beyond the arc and 7 of 8 from the free throw line, Jared Brownridge now owns six Bronco rookie records and three game records. He owns the rookie records for points, threes, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, scoring average and field goals made. He also owns or shares the Bronco freshman game records for points (38), threes (7 twice this season) and field goals made (with 12, he tied for No. 1 with Brian Jones).
His 38 points were the best Bronco performance since Steve Nash scored 40 at Gonzaga on Jan. 19, 1995. He is just the 12th Bronco to score 38+ in a game.
Brandon Clark leads the Broncos with 17.0 ppg, 3.6 apg and 1.4 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 27 of the last 30 games. In fact, he has scored 10+ in 21 straight games. 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, hitting 86.6 percent (136 of 157). He 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. LMU came at the free throw line, as the East Chicago, Ind. native went 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
Jared Brownridge has started all 31 games this season and he has scored 16+ points in 18 games thus far, including 16 games with 3+ threes made and 24 double-figure games. Brownridge has collected 5+ threes five 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 38 points at Pepperdine on March 1 - his third 30+ point game this season in WCC play. 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 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).
Brownridge collected seven three pointers in nine attempts at Pepperdine on March 1. He tied his own Bronco freshman record. On a night where he shot 8 of 15 from the field with a game-high seven assists in the win vs. La Sierra on Dec. 14, he made seven threes. The seven threes by Brownridge broke the Bronco freshman record set by Nash back in 1993 (6 vs. CS Stanislaus, 1-5-93). Brandon Rohe (6, vs. Mississippi State Valley, 12-27-02) and Calvin Johnson (6, vs. Cal Poly, 12-10-05) later matched it. It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
In his first three collegiate basketball games, Brownridge was in elite company at SCU. Only three players since the 1999-2000 season have scored more points in the first three games of the season and Brownridge is the only first-year player among them. In his junior year John Bryant collected 75 points in three games at the outset of the 2007-08 season and Travis Niesen tallied 68 points during the first three games of his 2005-06 senior campaign. Foster went for 65 in the first three games last season. Foster also scored 62 points in 2009 but it took him four team games after he missed the third contest of the season.
Hard For Us Too ...
The Broncos team this year features six players whose first name starts with a "J". The six are: John (McArthur), Julian (Clarke), Jerry (Brown), Jared (Brownridge), Jarvis (Pugh) and Jalen (Richard). The Broncos also have two Clarke/Clark's: Julian Clarke and Brandon Clark. They also have a Brown (Jerry) and a Brownridge (Jared).
The Bronco roster showcases four players from California. They also have one player each from the following states: Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois. SCU also feature players from Canada (Julian Clarke), Cameroon (Yannick Atanga) and Nigeria (Emmanuel Ndumanya).