Broncos Travel To San Diego, Look To Sweep Season Series For 11th Time

Broncos Travel To San Diego, Look To Sweep Season Series For 11th Time

Game Notes

Santa Clara will hit the road this week for a 7 pm game at San Diego on Thurs., Jan. 29 and then a 6 pm game at BYU on Sat., Jan. 31.  The game in San Diego will be telecast on WTV.com with Steve Quis and former San Diego head coach Brad Holland making the call.  The game will also be broadcast live 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. 

SCU is 11-10 and 5-4 in the WCC.  The Broncos have won four straight games, including the past three WCC games (vs. USF, LMU and Pepperdine).  The Toreros are 10-11 and 3-6 in the WCC.  San Diego snapped a three-game WCC losing steak with a 77-74 victory vs. BYU on Jan. 24.  Johnny Dee leads USD with 17.5, including 14.9 ppg in WCC play.

Opponent

The two teams will be playing on Thursday for the 78th time with SCU holding a 43-34 lead all-time. In the two team's last meeting on Jan. 3 in the Leavey Center, Brandon Clark made four free throws in the final 46.8 seconds of the game to lead the Broncos' to a 59-56 victory over San Diego.  Matt Hubbard picked up his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first double-double by a Bronco since Jerry Brown went for 16 and 10 against San Jose State on Nov. 12, 2013. Nate Kratch had 14 points and eight rebounds while Clark chipped in with 13.  Jared Brownridge tied a career-high with seven assists.

The Broncos will be looking to sweep the season series for the 11th time since USD joined the league in 1979-80. The two teams split the season series last year with each team winning on the road and two years ago the Broncos swept the season series.  Looking back, Denzel Johnson scored 20 points at USD (2/4/12), his second-highest career point total. 

Top Scoring Back-Court Returns

The Broncos return the West Coast Conference's top-scoring back-court in Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge.  Clark is averaging 16.0 ppg after scoring 16.9 ppg in 2013-14.  Brownridge is averaging 14.4 ppg after leading the team with 17.2 ppg last year.  Both have scored in double figures 17 times this year.  Clark has led the team in scoring 11 times, Brownridge nine, 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 4.7 rpg, but after tying a career-high with 11 boards on Jan. 22 vs. LMU Kratch is hot on his trail with 4.6 rpg.  Clark leads the team with 3.9 apg, Kratch is the leader with .67 bpg and Denzel Johnson is tops in steals with 1.3 spg. 

20s Together

Brandon Clark (29) and Jared Brownridge (20) both scored 20+ vs. LMU on Jan. 22.  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. 

Don't Quit Your Day Job Yet

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 is looking forward to interviewing former Bronco head coach Carroll Williams in mid-February.  The Bronco head coach from 1970-92, Williams is the second-winningest coach in WCC history with 165 victories to his credit.

Brownridge has also interviewed teammates Dominic Romeo and Brandon Clark; and Dec. 19 he interviewed the SCU President, Father Michael Engh.

Player of the Week ... Again 

Hitting back-to-back game-clinching free throws last weekend, Brandon Clark was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 26.  It is the second time this season he has been named the league's player of the week, collecting the honors on Nov. 17, 2014 as well.

An 84.0 percent free throw shooter during his four year Bronco career, Clark hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to ice the game vs. LMU on Jan. 22.  He then added three free throws in the final 16 seconds of the Pepperdine victory on Jan. 24.  Clark scored a WCC season-high 29 points vs. LMU and added 13 vs. Pepperdine.

In the two victories last weekend, which vaulted the Broncos' into a tie for third place, Clark played 37.5 mpg, averaged 21.0 ppg, shot 45.2 percent from the field and 83.2 percent from the free throw line (10 of 12).  He collected 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.0 spg.    

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.

Brandon 

Leading the team with 16.0 ppg, including 14.1 ppg in league play, Brandon Clark has scored 20+ points in eight games this season.  Starting 58 career games, Clark has scored double figures 63 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.

At No. 18 with 1,378 career points scored, Clark is just the sixth player in school history to score 1,350+ career points and dish out 365+ career assists (joining Kevin Foster, Brian Jones, Nash, Evan Roquemore and Kyle Bailey). Clark was the 20th Bronco in school history to score 1,300 points on Jan. 13.  He needs 22 points to pass No. 15 Nick Vanos (1,399, 1981-85) and just three points will slide him past No. 17 Travis Niesen (1,380, 2002-06).  Clark joined the 1,000 career points scored list last season when he scored 18 points at Pepperdine on March 1, 2014.

Shooting 86.4 percent this season from the line (95 of 110), Clark has shot 84.0 percent during his career (362 of 431) - good enough for No. 3 on the Bronco career list.  The record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96) and Russ Vrankovich is No. 2 (85.8 percent, 1961-64). 

Clark is tied for No. 10 on the career list with 122 games played (Brody Angley, 2004-08 and Mitch Burley, 1985-89); No. 10 with 148 threes made; No. 9 in threes attempted with 419; and No. 10 with 368 assists. 

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).   

Jared

The 2014 WCC Newcomer of the Year, Jared Brownridge has started every game he has played in the past two years (54 straight).  He has scored double figures 43 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 made 5+ 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 59 this season, giving him 154 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.  

Hitting a three in 50 of his 54 career games, Brownridge needs 12 triples to pass No. 8 Brian Jones (165, 1996-01).  Brownridge's four career 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 869 career points and would be the 33rd Bronco in school history to score 1,000 plus with 131 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

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 19 games this season, he leads the team with 4.7 rpg.

Nate

Nate Kratch came off the bench the first 12 games, but has started the last nine.  He tied his career high with 11 boards vs. LMU on Jan. 22 and added 10 points and five boards vs. Pep on Jan. 24.  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.   

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