Santa Clara finishes a two-game homestand on Sat., Jan. 3 at 7 pm when it welcomes San Diego! The game will be telecast on Wtv.com with George Devine and Richie Schueler making the call. It will also be broadcast live on KDOW 1220 AM and on the Bronco website, SantaClaraBroncos.com, as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his eighth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
Santa Clara is 6-8 and 1-2 in the WCC. San Diego is in the WCC. Santa Clara is 3-3 at home this season and the Toreros are 2-2 on the road.
With a large BYU fan club in attendance, the Cougars ran out to a 12-1 lead to open the game on New Year's Day and never looked back, finishing off Santa Clara 81-45 at the Leavey Center. Brandon Clark scored 12 points with three rebounds and Jared Brownridge added 10 with six assists. Four Broncos collected four rebounds each (Jalen Richard, Brownridge, Nate Kratch and Emmanuel Ndumanya).
San Diego's first WCC victory at USF on Thursday was filled with last minute drama. With two game-saving plays in the final 25 seconds for San Diego, Christopher Anderson stole the ball away from Matt Glover as time expired. Anderson's lay-up gave the Toreros a four-point lead, 56-52, with 25 seconds left.
But the game was far from over. Fouled and hitting the line with 14 seconds left, USF's Matt Glover missed both of his free throws. But Mark Tollefsen grabbed the second miss, was fouled and made one to pull USF within one. Then with just five seconds left, USD's Duda Sanadze was fouled and sent to the line to shoot two. Sanadze missed both and Glover grabbed the rebound, but Anderson managed to steal the ball to finish off the game, a 57-56 USD victory.
The two teams will be playing on Saturday for the 77th time with SCU holding a 42-34 lead all-time. The two teams split the season series last year with each team winning on the road. San Diego won 69-66 on Jan. 16 in Santa Clara and the Broncos returned the favor in San Diego with a 69-63 victory on Feb. 8, 2014. The Broncos swept the Toreros two years ago for the 10th time since USD joined the league in 1979-80. Looking back, Denzel Johnson scored 20 points at USD (2/4/12), his second-highest career point total.
Brownridge and Clark Lead The Broncos; Top Scoring Back-Court in the WCC Returns
The Broncos return the West Coast Conference's top-scoring back-court in Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge. Clark is averaging 15.9 ppg after scoring 16.9 ppg in 2013-14. Brownridge is averaging 14.8 ppg this season after leading the team with 17.2 ppg last year. Clark has scored double figures in 12 of 14 games and Brownridge has done it 11 times this year. Brownridge has led the team in scoring seven times, Clark six times and Matt Hubbard once.
Starting every game this season, Denzel Johnson is averaging 8.1 ppg. He has scored double figures six times this season, including a season-high 15 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14. His 24 steals on the year puts him at No. 4 in the WCC. He is No. 2 on the team with 457 minutes played, behind Jared Brownridge's 458 minutes played, and Johnson is No. 6 in the league. Johnson will be playing in his 100th career game on Saturday. He has made 24 starts during his four-year career. A versatile guard, he started 10 games his freshman year and then just one his junior year.
Jared Brownridge has started each of the 47 career games he has played in dating back to last season and hit double figures in 37 of those games. He led the team with 95 three pointers a season ago and has already hit 43 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.
Brownridge has scored 30+ points three times, all last year. He has scored 20+ points 17 times in his career, including three straight games earlier this season (vs. Rider, at San Jose State and vs. Washington State). He has scored five or more threes seven times in his career, including seven twice last year (7 vs. La Sierra, 12/14/13 and 7 at Pepperdine, 3-1-14).
58 Double Figure Games In His Career
Brandon Clark has started 51 of the 115 games he has played in during his four-year career. Clark has scored 20+ points in five games this season, including 24 at Saint Mary's on Dec. 27 and a career-high 31 vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14. Clark has scored double figures 58 times in his career, including 18 games with 20 or more points the past two years. His first two seasons he never scored more than 19. He also scored 30 or more three times during his career, including a season-high 31 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14.
Clark had his streak of 25 straight games in double figures snapped at Utah State when he scored nine. The streak 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).
Back In, Not Again
Freshman-redshirt Emmanuel Ndumanya played seven minutes with a rebound at Saint Mary's on Dec. 27 after sitting out the last nine games with a left foot injury. In his next game, at Pacific, he scored a career-high four points with a rebound in nine minutes; and then added four boards vs. BYU on Jan. 1. The Anambra, Nigeria native grabbed 14 rebounds in his first two games, averaging 15.0 mpg.
The Broncos will be without the services of forward Yannick Atanga (6-8, 230) for the remainder of the year. He injured his knee in the opening half of the season vs. Cal State Fullerton and did not play vs. San Diego Christian, but did play 20 minutes at Utah State. After the game his knee swelled and an MRI determined he tore his ACL. Atanga had surgery to repair it on Dec. 16. It is expected he will apply for a sixth year.
With a block at Utah State on Nov. 19, Atanga sits at No. 5 all-time in SCU history with 94 career blocks. He passed former All-American Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). After leading the WCC in rebounds in 2012-13, Atanga was second on the team in rebounds last year with 5.0 rpg and led the team with 30 blocks. He has collected 10+ boards in 11 career games. A native of Yaounde, Cameroon, Atanga spent time playing with the Cameroon National Team in China as part of a four-nation tournament in 2013. Sporting a 7-4 wing span, Atanga dreams of one day working for the United Nations as a peacekeeper in Africa.
Brandon Clark is No. 21 on the all-time points scored list with 1,265. He needs 16 points to move to No. 20 and will pass Ralph Ogden (1,280, 1967-70). Clark is tied for No. 3 all-time in free throw percentage. He has made 330 of his 397 free throws attempted, good for 83.1 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 a career-high nine assists.