Santa Clara, 5-6, will open WCC play at Saint Mary's, 7-3, on Sat., Dec. 28. The 1 pm game will be telecast on Comcast California with Barry Tompkins and Casey Jacobsen 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 eighth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
In its last game prior to Christmas, Santa Clara lost 69-58 to Cal Poly on Dec. 23. Jared Brownridge scored 19 points, including five threes. It was the seventh game in his two-year career that he has scored 5+ threes. Kai Healy collected 12 points off the bench with Brandon Clark adding 11. Saint Mary's needed extra time to defeat Northeastern 72-68 on Dec. 22 in Moraga. Brad Waldow collected his eighth double-double of the year with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Santa Clara and Saint Mary's have had two common opponents this season: they both played Cal Poly at home (SCU lost, SMC won) as well as Northeastern (SCU lost, SMC won in overtime).
Don't I Know You?
The two long-time rivals and original WCC members continue their series that began in 1910. They will be playing for the 217th time. Santa Clara has played Saint Mary's more than any other team in the school's 108-year basketball history and leads the series 132-84.
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 in Moraga on Jan. 9, 2014 in the team's first meeting last 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. 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. 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.
Brownridge and Clark Lead The Broncos
The Broncos return the WCC's top-scoring back-court, Jared Brownridge (16.0 ppg, 2014-15; 17.2 ppg, 2013-14) and Brandon Clark (16.2 ppg, 2014-15; 16.9 ppg, 2013-14). They both have scored double figures in nine of 11 games this season with Brownridge leading the team in scoring seven times and Clark the other four games. Brownridge has scored 18+ in each of the past five games. He had a season-high 27 vs. Rider on Nov. 30. Clark had a season-high 31 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14.
Brownridge has started each of the 44 career games he has played in dating back to last season. He led the team with 95 three pointers a season ago and has already hit 36 this season. His 567 points last year scored shattered the SCU freshman record and placed him at No. 2 all-time in points scored for a Bay Area freshman (list includes SCU, Stanford, Cal, Saint Mary's, San Francisco and Pacific). He finished his freshman year with 24 points vs. Gonzaga in the WCC quarters, as the Broncos fell 77-75 on a last second layup by the Zags' David Stockton.
Clark has started 48 of the 112 games he has played in during his four-year career. Clark had his streak of 25 straight games in double figures snapped at Utah State when he scored nine. It dated back to Dec. 13, 2013. It was the longest streak for a Bronco since Travis Niesen scored double figures in 22 straight games (Feb. 5, 2005-Jan. 21, 2006). Last season Clark collected 13 games of 20+ points. He did not have a single 20+ game his first two years.
The Broncos will be without the services of forwards Yannick Atanga (6-8, 230) and Emmanuel Ndumanya (6-9, 270). Atanga had surgery to repair his ACL on Dec. 16 and is out for the remainder of the season. Ndumanya has a left foot injury that has caused him to miss the past nine games.
Nate Kratch scored a career-high 15 points off the bench on Dec. 20 vs. Northeastern. His previous career high 11 points at Cal Poly on Dec. 7, 2013. Kratch collected a season-high eight boards. He was seven of 10 from the free throw line, also career bests.
Matt Hubbard added a few career bests in the Northeastern game as well. He had career highs in points (12), rebounds (9). He also tied career highs in field goals and threes made. Starting eight of the 10 games this season, he leads the team with 4.9 rpg.
Brandon Clark is No. 25 on the all-time points scored list with 1,220. He needs 61 points to move to No. 20, passing Ralph Ogden (1,280, 1967-70). Clark is tied for No. 3 all-time in free throw percentage. He has made 320 of his 384 free throws attempted, good for 83.3 percent. The school record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96).
Clark was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 17, 2014. He set a school record for points scored in a season opener with 31, including 15 of 16 from the line, in the Broncos' win vs. CSU Fullerton on Nov. 14. He had four career bests on the weekend as well. He was 15 of 16 from the free throw line vs. the Titans - marking a career best in makes and attempts. He is the only the seventh Bronco in school history to make 15+ free throws in a game. He scored 21 points vs. SDC on Nov. 15, collecting career-highs with nine assists and nine rebounds.
Jared Brownridge (27) and Brandon Clark (23) scored 20+ points each in SCU's 68-60 win vs. Rider on Nov. 30. Brownridge had a season-high six threes. They narrowly missed the feat again vs. Washington State with Brownridge scoring 25 and Clark adding 19. .
Scoring 20+ together is nothing new for the duo of Brownridge and Clark, as they did it five times last season. The first time was Nov. 16, 2013 when Brownridge scored 21 and Clark added 23. The last time was Jan. 28, 2014 when Brownridge dropped 30 and Clark added 20.
Brownridge has scored 30+ points three times, all last year. He has scored 20+ points 17 times in his career, including three straight games prior to Northeastern, where he scored 18 (vs. Rider, at San Jose State and vs. Washington State). Starting all 44 games of his career, he has scored double figures 35 times. He has scored five or more three seven times in his career, including seven twice last year (7 vs. La Sierra, 12/14/13 and 7 at Pepperdine, 3-1-14).
Clark has scored double figures 56 times in his career, including 17 games with 20 or more points the past two years. He also scored 30 or more three times during his career, including a season-high 31 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14.
The Broncos were expecting to redshirt Kai Healy this season, but announced prior to the Michigan State game on Nov. 24 that he would play this year. He responded with four points and three boards in 19 minutes at Michigan State. He started and scored a key three pointer in the first half in Santa Clara's win vs. Rider on Nov. 30. He has made one field goal in each of the five games he has played.
Healy is a 2013 graduate of The Scots College in Sydney, Australia. The Scots College lost 82-76 to Lake Ginninderra College in the national championship high school game in 2013. Healy had 25 points in that game on 10 of 11 shooting from the field, including making four of five beyond the arc. Dante Exum scored 19 points with 15 assists for Lake Ginninderra. Lake Ginninderra had a 17-point three quarter time lead reduced to four points inside the final two minutes, before they steadied to hold on for the win. Healy's team defeated Exum's team three of the five times they played during their prep career. Exum went on to be the fifth overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Healy was born in Indianapolis, Ind. and moved to Australia prior to his fourth birthday and has lived there with his family since then. His father is a Notre Dame graduate and his mother a University of Indiana graduate.