SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off its best victory of the season, Santa Clara men's basketball opens West Coast Conference play Thursday at BYU (9-4), which has won four of its last five games. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Pacific from Marriott Center.
The Broncos (6-7) have won three of their last four, including a thrilling 87-80 double-overtime victory over Valparaiso on Thursday. Senior guard Jared Brownridge scored a team-best 30 points, including eight after the end of regulation, sophomore guard Matt Hauser tallied 17 and senior forward Nate Kratch posted a double-double (14 points/14 rebounds) in the team's final nonconference game. Brownridge, who had five assists and only one turnover, snapped a 78-all tie with 1:11 left in the second overtime on a driving layup. He later added a pair of free throws as the Broncos scored nine of the final 11 points against the Crusaders whose only other losses this season were to Oregon and Kentucky, which were both ranked in the top 10.
Brownridge, who earned WCC Player of the Week for his performance vs. Valpo, ranks fourth in the league in scoring (19.2 ppg) and first in 3-point field goals per game (3.4). Hauser, the primary point guard with KJ Feagin absent due to injury, is averaging 11.2 points and a team-best 5.6 assists per game, which ranks No. 4 in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.5-to-1 is second in the league and No. 17 in the country. Junior forward Jarvis Pugh is third on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.3 pg). Kratch is averaging 10.2 ppg and a team-high 6.0 rebounds pg.
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 San Jose
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | BYU|
• 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.
• Santa Clara's matchup with Valparaiso featured two of the top active leading scorers in NCAA Division I. Senior forward Alec Peters of Valparaiso scored a game-high 35 points and is now second with 1,999 points and Jared Brownridge is third with 1,965, a total that ranks second in school history and 12th in West Coast Conference history. With 30 points vs. Valparaiso (Dec. 22), Brownridge passed Jose Slaughter of Portland (1978-82/1,940) on the WCC list. Brownridge is closing in on becoming the 11th player in WCC history to post 2,000 or more in a career.
• KJ Feagin, the team's starting point guard and an All-WCC Freshman team pick last year, suited up for the first time this season in the Valparaiso game (Dec. 23). Feagin broken bone in his foot in the preseason and missed the first 12 games. He played 22 minutes against Valpo, scoring five points and distributing four assists. Sophomore guard Evan Wardlow (hamstring) has also been limited with injuries. Wardlow reinjured his hamstring in practice two weeks and is out indefinitely.
• Brownridge, Matt Hauser and Nate Kratch have started all 13 games. Brownridge and Hauser are averaging 37-plus minutes per game and Kratch nearly 32. Forward Jarvis Pugh started the first 11 games and is averaging 32 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. Brownridge (49), Kratch (48) and Hauser (46) nearly played the entire Valparaiso game.
• 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 34 of the last 35 games, including 20 or more points in 19 ... Brownridge went 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) on 3-pointers in the opening four games but has been more himself by hitting 40 of 88 (45.5 percent) in the last eight ... sophomore guard Matt Hauser has scored in double figures seven times this season (six straight), including a career-high 18 vs. UC Riverside, all in the last 10 games. He scored in double figures four times in 2015-16. Over the last 10 games, Hauser is averaging 13.4 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 ... 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 25 of 45 FGs (55.6 percent) in the most recent four ... after not seeing action in the first seven games, junior center Emmanuel Ndumanya has played in the last six, appearing in a season-high 21 minutes vs. Cal State East Bay (Dec. 10). He has started the last four games, averaging 5.5 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 46.6 percent in the last four games ... Santa Clara out-rebounded Washington State, 35-27, on Dec. 17 and 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 (81.8) ... 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 Dave Rose and his BYU Cougars boast a 9-4 record heading into conference play in his 11th season at the helm. The Cougars average 84.3 points per game, the No. 26 ranked mark in the nation. BYU also dominates the glass, hauling in 45.5 rebounds per game which is good for the second-best total in the country. BYU out-rebounds its opponents by 8.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Eric Mika has knocked down 91 free throws (120 attempts) the second-highest total in the nation. Mika averages 20.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and sophomore guard Nick Emery chips in 16.5 points per contest.
• 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 played his first game last week. 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 two weeks ago in practice and 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 the week of Dec. 19. 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 13 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 (20.5 minutes pg) and guard Kai Healy (21.5) are the only other players to see action in all 13 games and play at least 10 minutes each outing. Jadersten and Healy helped the Broncos scored a season-high 25 bench points in the 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. He added his 10th 30-point game in the Valparaiso win. He scored 30 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field.
• 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.
The BYU Series...
The series began in 1951 and BYU leads, 27-5. The Cougars have won the last 13 meetings, including all 12 since BYU joined the WCC for the 2011-12 season. The Broncos last win in the series was on Dec. 2, 1972 (66-64 in Provo, Utah) though the teams only met once (Dec. 30, 1986 in the Cable Car Classic) in a 38-year span. ory in last year's quarterfinals.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (color) will call the action against BYU on KLIV AM-1590 in San Jose. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform or televised by BYUtv) 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 can be heard on KSCU 103.3 FM and KDOW 1220 AM.
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