SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's basketball closes out nonconference play Thursday when it makes the program's first-ever trip to Valparaiso, which is off to a 9-2 start after posting a school-record 30 wins last season. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. Pacific from Athletics-Recreation Center.
The Broncos (5-7) split a pair of games last week, defeating UC Riverside, 77-53, at home on Tuesday before losing Saturday at Washington State, 69-68. Senior guard Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 25 points, including 15 in the second half, and sophomore Matt Hauser chipped in 17 vs. Washington State, which had a key 14-0 run late in the game. The Cougars erased an 11-point deficit in the final seven minutes. Brownridge had a potential game-winning shot blocked as time expired.
Brownridge had his lowest point total of the season in the UCR game, tallying seven points, but remains the team's leading scorer at 18.3 ppg, which ranks sixth in the West Coast Conference. Junior forward Jarvis Pugh is second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and first in rebounding (5.4 pg). Hauser, the primary point guard with KJ Feagin out of the lineup, is averaging 10.8 ppg and a team-best 5.6 assists, which ranks No. 4 in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.4-to-1 is second in the league and 24th nationally. Senior forward Nate Kratch is averaging 9.8 ppg and connecting on 53.6 percent of his 3-pointers, which is third in the WCC.
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 San Jose
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Valparaiso|
• Herb Sendek is in his first season as Santa Clara head coach after three successful stops leading Division I programs. Sendek, one of the three youngest coaches to reach 400 career victories, is in his 23rd season as a head coach. He compiled a 413-295 (.583) record, including 39 victories against top 25 teams, at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio). Sendek was a coach of the year in the Pac-10, Atlantic Coast Conference and Mid-American Conference.
• Two of the top four active leading scorers in NCAA Division I will be on the same court Thursday. Senior forward Alec Peters of Valparaiso is second with 1,964 points and Jared Brownridge is fourth with 1,935, a total that ranks second in school history and 14th in West Coast Conference history. With 65 more points, Brownridge will become the 11th player in WCC history to post 2,000 or more in a career. He will be playing near his hometown of Aurora, Illinois, for the second time in his career. Valparaiso is located about 85 miles from Aurora. The Broncos played at Notre Dame on Nov. 22, 2013, when Brownridge was a freshman. Notre Dame is about a two-hour drive from Aurora.
• Brownridge, Matt Hauser and Nate Kratch have started all 12 games. Brownridge and Hauser are averaging 36-plus minutes per game and Kratch 31. Forward Jarvis Pugh started the first 11 games and is averaging 33 minutes per game, third on the team. Brownridge played a season-low 30 minutes against Northern Colorado (Nov. 19) due to foul trouble, but has played at least 34 minutes in the other 11 contests. Hauser has played less than 34 minutes only one game.
• KJ Feagin, the team's starting point guard and an All-WCC Freshman team pick last year, has yet to suit up this season due to a broken bone in his foot. Feagin was injured during the first week of preseason practice and is out of action indefinitely. Sophomore guard Evan Wardlow (hamstring) has also been limited with injuries. Wardlow reinjured his hamstring in practice last week and is out indefinitely. Junior forward Matt Hubbard (ankle) was also limited, playing sparingly in eight games. However, Hubbard decided this week to leave the team.
• Senior guard Jared Brownridge has his 32-game double-figure scoring streak snapped when he was held to seven points in a 75-50 win over UC Riverside (Dec. 13). Brownridge has scored in double figures in 33 of the last 34 games, including 20 or more points in 18 ... Brownridge went 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) on 3-pointers in the opening four games but has been more himself by hitting 34 of 77 (44.2 percent) in the last eight ... sophomore guard Matt Hauser has scored in double figures seven times this season, including a career-high 18 vs. UC Riverside, all in the last nine games. He scored in double figures four times in 2015-16. Over the last nine games, Hauser is averaging 13.0 points and 6.1 assists ... junior forward Jarvis Pugh has scored in double figures in five contests this season after reaching 10 points just twice in his previous 42 career games ... sophomore forward Henrik Jadersten has scored in double figures five times this season after only three occurrences in 2015-16. After hitting only 4 of 17 from the floor in the previous four games, Jadersten went 5-for-6 against UC Riverside ... senior forward Nate Kratch rebounded from scoring a combined 10 points (4 of 19 FGs) in the previous two games by averaging 14.3 points and connecting on 18 of 30 FGs (60.0 percent) in the most recent three ... after not seeing action in the first seven games, junior center Emmanuel Ndumanya has played in the last five, appearing in a season-high 21 minutes vs. Cal State East Bay (Dec. 10). He has started the last three games, averaging 4.7 points and 6.7 rebounds.
• After shooting a season-low 28.3 percent from the field in a loss to San Jose State (Dec. 3), the Broncos have connected on a 46.9 percent in the last three games ... Santa Clara out-rebounded Washington State, 35-27, on Saturday and has posted its top rebounding outings of the season in the previous two games, grabbing 41 against both Cal State East Bay (Dec. 10) and UC Riverside (Dec. 13).
• Pugh made 8 of 9 free throws in the season opener vs. N. Arizona (Nov. 11). He made only eight (on 17 attempts) all of last season when he was relegated to 10 games due to injury. Pugh is shooting 80.0 percent at the line, second on the team behind Brownridge (80.4) ... after shooting only 45 free throws in the previous four games, the Broncos attempted 35 vs. Cal State East Bay (Dec. 10) and 21 against UC Riverside (Dec. 13), the highest two totals of the season.
Head coach Matt Lottich is in his first season at the helm of the Valparaiso program and his team is off to a 9-2 start with its two losses coming against Oregon and Kentucky, both nationally ranked. Senior forward Alec Peters is the second-leading scorer in the nation, pouring in 25.6 points per game on 45.0 percent shooting from the floor and 94.4 percent from the free-throw line. Peters is also second in the country in free throws made at 84 on 89 tries. Senior guard Shane Hammink is second on the team in scoring at 14.7 per game while junior guard Tevonn Walker averages 11.3 ppg. After going 30-7 last season with a trip to the NCAAs, the Crusaders are the favorites to claim the Horizon League title. Santa Clara and Valparaiso will be meeting for the first time.
• Santa Clara has been missing pieces in its rotation this season. Sophomore point guard KJ Feagin broke a bone in his foot during the first week of preseason practice and has yet to play a game. Sophomore guard Evan Wardlow has been injured most of the last two seasons. He was relegated to seven games last year due to a wrist injury and has seen only 54 minutes of action this year because to a hamstring injury. He reinjured the hamstring last week in practice is out indefinitely.
• Junior forward Matt Hubbard had offseason ankle surgery and was limited to 52 minutes in eight of the first 12 games. However, Hubbard decided this week to leave the program. He is on schedule to graduate in the spring. Hubbard played in 68 career games (37 starts), averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds.
• Injuries have forced the Broncos to shorten rotation. Guards Jared Brownridge and Matt Hauser, and forward Nate Kratch have started all 12 games. Forward Jarvis Pugh has started 11 games. Brownridge Hauser, Kratch and Pugh are averaging 30-plus minutes per game. Brownridge, Hauser and Pugh have seen the most time, averaging 31 or more minutes per contest. Forwards Henrik Jadersten (20.7 minutes pg) and guard Kai Healy (20.9) are the only other players to see action in all 12 games and play at least 10 minutes each outing. Jadersten and Healy helped the Broncos scored a season-high 25 bench points in last week's win over UC Riverside (Dec. 13). Healy posted his first-career double-double with 10 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds. Jadersten scored 13 points and collected seven rebounds.
• Hauser (16 points/10 assists vs. N. Colorado, Nov. 19) became the first Santa Clara player to post double digit points and assists in the same game since Evan Roquemore (14 points/11 assists) against Pacific (Dec. 17, 2011). He followed that up with his second career double-double (14 points/11 assists) vs. Sacred Heart (Nov. 21).
• With 36 points vs. Vanderbilt (Nov. 25), Brownridge, who earned a spot of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational tournament team, posted his ninth-career game of 30 or more points, the most in school history. He was tied with the school's all-time leading scorer Kevin Foster.
• Brownridge scored 25 points vs. Washington State (Dec. 17), connecting on 7 of 14 from behind the 3-point line. He recorded seven or more made 3-pointers for the eighth time in his career, extending his own school record. Kevin Foster (2008-13) had five in his career, including the single-game record of nine (vs. Air Force, March 18, 2011).
• The Broncos started the year with 10 players on the roster who saw action last year. Tony Lewis redshirted as a true freshman in 2015-16. Additions include freshman Julian Roche and junior Akil Douglas, both of whom signed with the program in the spring. Freshman Johnny Sawyer and sophomore Evan Crawford were added to the roster in the summer and senior guard Will Burkett prior to the season, all as non-scholarship players. Lewis has played in 11 games, averaging 2.0 points in 7.1 minutes.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (color) will call the action against Valparaiso on KLIV AM-1590 in San Jose. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform) will also be streamed through TheW.tv (local blackout restrictions apply for games broadcast over the air). KLIV-AM 1590 is broadcasting 25 Santa Clara games this season and a selected few will can be heard on KSCU 103.3 FM and KDOW 1220 AM.
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