Santa Clara finishes its four-game homestand on Sat., Jan. 24 when it hosts the Pepperdine Waves. The 8 pm game will be telecast on Comcast California with Glen Kuiper and Dan Belluomini making the call. The game will also be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM and 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.
SCU is 10-10 and 4-4 in the WCC. The Broncos are 7-3 at home this year, including 3-1 in the WCC. They have won three straight games, including the past two WCC games (vs. USF and LMU). The Waves are 12-7 and 5-3 in the WCC. Pep has a 67-61 victory at BYU on its WCC resume this season as well victories over LMU, Pacific, San Diego and Portland. Three players average double figures: Stacy Davis (16.1), Jeff Raines (11.2) and Shawn Olden (10.3).
SCU leads the series 71-57 vs. Pepperdine, including 41-21 at home. Last season Pepperdine defeated the Broncos 70-61 on Jan. 2 in Santa Clara and then SCU returned the favor with an 86-78 drubbing in Malibu on March 1. Jared Brownridge had a monster day in Malibu as he tied his own freshman school record with seven threes, finishing with a freshman school record 38 points.
SCU swept the season series in 2013 after the Waves did the same in 2012.
Despite giving up a double-digit lead and being caught in a second half battle with the five-win Lions from LMU, Santa Clara rallied down the stretch to win 65-62 on Thursday night in the Leavey Center. Santa Clara shot 47.8 percent from the floor (22 of 46), including 48.0 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 25). The Broncos added 81.8 percent from the foul line (9 of 11).
The WCC's returning top scoring backcourt duo of Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark led the squad with each scoring 20+ points. Clark scored a game-high 29 points with a couple key free throws to ice the game with 11.2 seconds left. It was his third straight game with 22+ points. Brownridge added to the accolades by draining his 151st career three-pointer while finishing with 20 points and 4 assists, shooting 6 of 10 from distance. SCU started the same line-up for the eighth straight game. Marin Mornar led the Lions with a double-double, scoring 22 points and collecting 11 boards Godwin Okonji followed with 13 points and 9 boards.
Taking a 31-28 lead to the lockerroom at halftime, USF built on it during the second half and beat Pepperdine 71-59 on Thursday on The Hilltop. USF shot 53.2 percent as Devin Watson scored a team-high 16 points to lead four Dons in double figures. Tim Derksen added 15, Kruize Pinkins 12 and Mark Tollefsen 11. Stacy Davis led the Waves with 23 and Shawn Olden chipped in 15. Pepperdine shot just 37.7 percent, including 2 of 13 from beyond the arc (15.4 percent).
Brandon Clark (29) and Jared Brownridge (20) both scored 20+ vs. LMU. Brownridge tied a season-high with six threes. Scoring 20+ together is nothing new for the duo of Brownridge and Clark, as they did it five times last season and have done it twice this year.
Brownridge and Clark 20+ Together
Opponent Date JB BC
at Fullerton 11/16/13 23 21
at Portland 12/30/13 20 20
vs. LMU 1/4/14 26 29
at Saint Mary's 1/9/14 20 23
vs. BYU 1/18/14 20 30
vs. Rider 11/30/14 27 23
vs. LMU 1/22/15 20 29
Top Scoring Back-Court Returns
The Broncos return the WCC's top-scoring back-court in Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge. Clark is averaging 16.2 ppg after scoring 16.9 ppg in 2013-14. Brownridge is averaging 14.5 ppg after leading the team with 17.2 ppg last year. Both have scored in double figures 16 times this year. Clark has led the team in scoring 10 times, Brownridge eight, Matt Hubbard twice and Nate Kratch once. Denzel Johnson and Jalen Richard both had a team-high 13 points at Portland to finish out the game scoring leaders.
Hubbard leads the team with 4.65 rpg, but after tying a career-high with 11 boards on Thursday, Kratch is hot on his trail with 4.55 rpg. Clark paces the offense with 3.95 apg. Kratch is the team's leading shot blocker with 0.60 bpg and Denzel Johnson is tops in steals with 1.35 spg.
Don't Quit Your Day Job
Jared Brownridge works as an EyeBronco reporter for the SCU Media Relations office and hosts his own YouTube series: "Long Walks With Jared". With a couple cameras filming their conversation, Brownridge walks around the picturesque Mission campus chatting with his subject. He interviewed WCC Commissioner Lynn Holzman on Jan. 21 with an early February release expected. He has interviewed teammates Dominic Romeo and Brandon Clark; and Dec. 19 he interviewed the SCU President, Father Michael Engh.
Scoring a game-high 29 points vs. LMU, Brandon Clark has scored 20+ points in eight games this season, including the last three games (22 vs. St. Katherine on Jan. 13 and 23 vs. USF on Jan. 17). Starting 57 career games, Clark has scored double figures 62 times in his career, including 21 games with 20 or more points the past two years. His first two seasons he never scored more than 19. He has also scored 30 or more three times during his career, including a season-high 31 points vs. CSU-Fullerton on Nov. 14.
Clark is just the sixth player in school history to score 1,350+ career points and dish out 365+ career assists. Also on that list: Kevin Foster, Brian Jones, Steve Nash, Evan Roquemore and Kyle Bailey. Clark was the 20th Bronco in school history to score 1,300 points on Jan. 13. He needs 35 points to pass No. 15 Nick Vanos (1,399, 1981-85) and just 16 points will slide him past No. 17 Travis Niesen (1,380, 2002-06).
1350+ Points, 365+ Assists
Name (Years) Pts. Assts.
Kevin Foster (2008-13) 2,423 464
Brian Jones (1996-01) 1,722 517
Steve Nash (1992-96) 1,689 510
Evan Roquemore (2010-14) 1,615 578
Kyle Bailey (2001-05) 1,571 452
Brandon Clark (2010-) 1,365 365
Clark joined the 1,000 career points scored list last season when he scored 18 points at Pepperdine on March 1, 2014. He is moving up other career lists as well. Clark is No. 10 on the career list with 148 threes made; No. 9 on the career threes attempted with 416; and No. 10 with 365 career assists. When he plays in the Pepperdine game, he will jump into the top 10 list of game played as well, tying Brody Angley (2004-08) and Burley (1985-89) at 122.
He was 9 of 9 from the free throw line vs. USF and followed that with a 7 of 8 performance vs. LMU. He said he was "not thinking, trying to be cute" when he missed the one vs. LMU. Shooting 86.8 percent this season from the line (92 of 106), Clark has shot 84.1 percent during his career (359 of 427). He is No. 3 all-time on the Bronco career list. The school record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96) and Russ Vrankovich is No. 2 (85.8 percent, 1961-64).
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).
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.
The 2014 WCC Newcomer of the Year, Jared Brownridge has started every game he has played in the past two years (53 straight). He has scored double figures 42 times and has yet to be held scoreless. He has scored 20+ points 18 times in his career, including three straight games earlier this season (vs. Rider, at SJSU and vs. Washington State).
He has hit five plus threes nine times in his career, including seven threes twice last year (vs. La Sierra, 12/14/13 and at Pepperdine, 3-1-14). He led the team with 95 three pointers a year ago and has already hit 56 this season, giving him 151 in his career - good enough for No. 9 on the Bronco career list. Brandon Clark is hot on his trail, hitting 148 career threes to jump into to the top 10 list as well.
Brownridge's 5+ 3-Pointers Made Games
Opponent Date Made/Att.vs. Bethesda 11/8/13 5 / 10
at CSU-Fullerton 11/16/13 5 / 9
vs. La Sierra 12/14/13 7 / 14
at USF 1/25/14 5 / 10
at Pepperdine 3/1/14 7 / 9
vs. Rider 11/30/14 6 / 11
vs. Washington St. 12/13/14 5 / 10
vs. Cal Poly 12/13/14 5 / 11
vs. LMU 1/22/15 6 / 10
Hitting a three in 49 of his 53 career games, Brownridge needs 15 triples to pass No. 8 Brian Jones (165, 1996-01). The four games with no 3s: 0-5 vs. San Diego 1-13-15; 0-6 at BYU 2-16-14; 0-1 vs. Gonzaga 1-29-14; and 0-3 vs. Sacred Heart 12-18-13.
A preseason All-WCC pick, Brownridge scored 30+ three times last season. He set seven SCU freshman season records and three game records. He has scored 856 career points and would be the 33rd Bronco in school history to score 1,000 plus with 144 more points. His 567 points scored last year 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.
Matt Hubbard is the only Bronco on the active roster with a double-double. With 12 points and a career-high 11 boards, he snared the first of his career vs. San Diego on Jan. 3. With almost 60 family and friends in the stands, Hubbard tied a career-high with 15 points at No. 6/7 Gonzaga on Jan. 10, matching his output at Pacific on Dec. 29. He made five threes in nine tries up at the Kennel, also personal bests. Starting 18 games this season, he leads the team with 4.8 rpg.
As a youngster, Hubbard was like many children, competing in a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, soccer, football and swimming. Hubbard proved to be quite a swimmer at a young age. Living close to the Canadian border, he traveled 25 miles north with his team, the Colville Sharks, for swim meets as part of the British Columbia Summer Swimming Association. As an eight year old he won the Canadian district meet in three events to advance to the Provincial Championships in Burnaby, B.C. At the National meet in August of 2004, Hubbard wore a U.S.A. swimming cap and won both the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle titles and finished fourth in the 100 freestyle. "I played a lot of sports. I really liked basketball and after awhile I got tired of swimming," said Hubbard. But said he does wonder what might have happened if he had stuck with it.
Nate Kratch came off the bench the first 12 games, but has started the last eight. He tied his career high with 11 boards vs. LMU on Jan. 22. He had career highs in both rebounds (11) and blocks (4) at Pacific on Dec. 27. He scored a career-high 15 points off the bench on Dec. 20 vs. Northeastern. His previous career high was 11 points at Cal Poly on Dec. 7, 2013. He was 7 of 10 from the free throw line, also career bests. He has hit a career-high five field goals twice this year (vs. San Diego and at Portland). He also played a career-high 33 minutes in Portland.
Kratch made his first three on his first attempt in his first game for the Broncos last year. Kratch comes from a very athletic family. His maternal grandmother, Dorsey Anderson Dinkla, played professional basketball for the Redheads and was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in New York City at Madison Square Garden last year. She once scored 70 points in a high school game. His dad, Bob, played football at Iowa and went on to win a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 1991. His mother, Kristi, was a high jumper at Iowa and cleared a personal best of 5'11. His older brother, Colby, played tight end at Toledo University and is now a graduate assistant for the Rockets. His younger sister, MacKenzie, strives to be a Division I hockey player. His paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College.
Starting every game this season, Denzel Johnson is the third-leading scorer on the team, averaging 8.3 ppg. He has scored double figures nine times this year, including a season-high 15 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14. He has had at least one steal in 15 games this year, including a career-high four steals vs. Northeastern on Dec. 20, and leads the team with 27. He is No. 2 on the team with 639 minutes played, behind Jared Brownridge's 660 minutes played. Johnson played in his 100th career game on Jan. 3 vs. San Diego. He has made 31 starts during his four-year career. A versatile guard, he started 10 games his freshman year and then just one his junior year.
Johnson and Academy Award winner Denzel Washington share a similar story on their first names. While pregnant with Johnson, the doctor told his parents he was going to be a girl and were thrown two pink baby showers for a girl. When Johnson was born, they were surprised to find out he was a boy and had no name! After a lot of conversation, they chose the name Denzel, after Denzel Washington.
Fast forward to years later, when Johnson's father, C.J., met Denzel Washington. When Johnson told him why they named his son after Washington, the actor laughed. Washington's parents were also told he was going to be a girl and when he was born, they had no name for him. After debating, his parents named him after the doctor who delivered him. Like his namesake, Johnson enjoys his time in front of the camera. Johnson is in his third year of working as an EyeBronco reporter for SCU Media Relations. He is in his second year of hosting Bronco Weekly Sports Wrap, a weekly YouTube show on Bronco Athletics.
Andrew Papenfus, recovering brain surgery in October to remove a tumor, began practicing with the team again on Jan. 7, 2015 and is hoping to play soon.
Papenfus suffered a seizure in mid-June at Santa Clara during a Bronco Basketball camp drill. Tests revealed he had a golf ball sized tumor in the left side of his brain. He was given the choice to wait to have the surgery and play this season or have the surgery immediately. Because they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't grow, up regulate, Papenfus decided to have brain surgery as soon as the surgeon could get it on the schedule. "Why take the risk," said Papenfus.
The five hour surgery was done at UCSF in San Francisco by Dr. Mitch Berger and his team. He has shocked doctors with how fast he has been able to recover. He was only in the hospital for four days. Papenfus has quickly graduated from basic physical therapy, he couldn't move his right foot after surgery, to sports rehabilitation.
SCU was expecting to redshirt Kai Healy this year, 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 Santa Clara's win vs. Rider on Nov. 30. He scored a career-high 12 points vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 23, 2014, hitting five field goals, including two threes (both career highs). He also hit a key three vs. USF on Jan. 17, helping the Broncos to a 70-64 victory.
Healy has played in 15 games this season and averages 3.1 ppg, playing 12.5 mpg. He is shooting 46.6 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 15).
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.
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.