Playing its final West Coast Conference road game of the year, Santa Clara stays in Southern California for a 3 pm game at LMU on Sat., Feb. 19. The Broncos will be looking for their first series sweep of LMU since 2011. The game with the Lions will be televised live on Wtv.com with Justin Alderson and Brad Holland making the call. It 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 11-16 and 5-10 in the WCC. After winning four straight, including a 60-57 victory over Pepperdine on Jan. 24, the Broncos have lost six straight WCC games. Despite being within three points four times in the second half at Pepperdine, the Broncos lost 64-55 on Thursday. Jared Brownridge scored 18 points with Denzel Johnson adding 13. Three Pep players scored in double figures as Jett Raines led the way with 19 points and nine boards.
LMU is 8-20, including 4-12 in WCC play. LMU lost 72-45 vs. USF on Thursday. Godwin Okonji scored almost half of the Lions points, collecting 22 in the losing effort, including 10 of 12 from the free throw line.
Against Our Opponent
Santa Clara leads the LMU series 87-57. The Broncos won 65-62 in the two team's first meeting on Jan. 22, 2015 in Santa Clara. Clark (29) and Brownridge (20) both scored 20+ vs. LMU. Brownridge tied a season-high with six threes. Scoring 20+ together is nothing new for the duo, as they did it five times last year and have done it twice this year.
Last season SCU won 86-81 at home in overtime (1-4-14). LMU returned the favor with a 75-71 victory in Los Angeles (2-27-14). The two teams have split the season series the last two years with the home team winning each game. LMU knocked the Broncos out of the 2013 WCC Tournament with a 60-58 victory (3-6-13).
Prior to the Pepperdine game, the Broncos had started the same line-up 14 games straight. But Jarvis Pugh stepped in for Matt Hubbard on Thursday night and responded with six points, two assists, two blocks and three boards. The Pepperdine starting line-up included (career starts): Brandon Clark (64), Jared Brownridge (60) Denzel Johnson (38), Nate Kratch (20) and Pugh (11). It was the first time the Broncos used that line-up this season.
Clark has jumped 16 spots this season on the career points scored list and sits at No. 13 with 1,466 career points. He needs 106 points to pass No. 12 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05). Clark is tied for top honors in the WCC with 15 free throws made vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 14. His 29 points vs. LMU on Jan. 22 are the third-highest total in WCC play this season.
Pugh has played in 27 games this season, starting 11 and averages 17.4 mpg. Hubbard has played 23+ minutes 21 times this year. Johnson's 27 threes this season are two more than the previous three seasons combined (24). Kratch has played 25.2 mpg in 15 games as a starter this year compared to 15.8 mpg as a non-starter. With 18 points at Pepperdine, Brownridge scored double figures in his 12th straight game and 49th career game. He went without a three in the Pepperdine game for just the fifth time in his 60-game career (0-8).
Clark and Brownridge Lead the Offense
The Broncos return the WCC's top-scoring back-court in Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge. Clark is averaging 15.7 ppg after scoring 16.9 ppg in 2013-14. Brownridge is averaging 14.7 ppg after leading the team with 17.2 ppg last year. Brownridge has scored in double figures 23 times year and Clark follows closely at 22 times. Clark has led the team in scoring 14 times, Brownridge 12, 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.
Clark is No. 13 on the career points scored list with 1,466. With his play at Pepperdine, Clark moved into a four-way tie for No. 5 on the career games played list (128), tying John McArthur (2010-14), Niyi Harrison (2009-13) and Ben Dowdell (2007-11). Clark's next obstacle: Kevin Foster sits at No. 4 with 133 games played.
Clark has scored 20+ points in 10 games this year, including 21 at USF on Feb. 12. Starting 64 career games, Clark has scored double figures 68 times in his career, including 23 games with 20 or more points the past two years. Prior his junior 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. He has also scored 30 or more three times during his career, including a season-high 31 points vs. CSU-Fullerton on Nov. 14.
With 18 points at Pepperdine, Brownridge has scored 965 career points. With 35 more points scored, he will be the 33rd Bronco in school history to score 1,000+. On pace to do it this year, he would be the first true sophomore to do so and the eighth Bronco to score his 1,000th career point under Kerry Keating. Kevin Foster scored his 1,000th career point as a redshirt-sophomore on Jan. 22, 2011 vs. Portland (he played six games in 2009-10 before he broke his foot and was redshirted). Foster closed out his Bronco career with 2,423 career points, second only in the WCC to Hank Gather's 2,490 career points.
Brownridge has scored 20+ points 19 times in his career, including three straight games earlier this season (vs. Rider, at SJSU and vs. Washington State). The 2014 WCC Newcomer of the Year, Brownridge has started every game he has played in the past two years (60 straight). He has scored double figures 49 times and has yet to be held scoreless. He scored 30+ three times last season but has yet to do it this season.
Brandon Clark is the sixth player in school history to score 1,450+ career points and dish out 390+ career assists (joining Kevin Foster, Brian Jones, Steve Nash, Evan Roquemore and Kyle Bailey). He was the 15th Bronco to score 1,400 career points (Jan. 29) and the 20th Bronco to score 1,300 points (Jan. 13). Clark joined the 1,000+ list last season when he scored 18 points at Pepperdine on March 1, 2014.
Twice named the WCC Player of the Week this season (Nov. 17, Jan. 24), Clark is an 83.7 percent career free throw shooter. He is No. 3 on the career list; and the record is held by Steve Nash (86.1 percent, 1991-96) with Russ Vrankovich sitting at No. 2 (85.8 percent, 1961-64). Clark is No. 10 with 159 threes made; No. 9 in threes attempted with 462; and No. 10 with 391 assists.
Clark had his streak of 25 straight games in double figures ruined on Nov. 19 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 Brownridge has 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 69 this season, giving him 164 in his career - good enough for No. 9 on the Bronco career list. Hitting a three in 55 of his 60 career games, Brownridge needs two triples to pass No. 8 Brian Jones (165, 1996-01). He has hit 3+ threes in 30 games, 4+ in 20 games, 5+ in nine games and 6+ in 4 games His five career games with no 3s: 0-8 at Pepperdine 2-19-15; 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.