SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a successful two-game West Coast Conference homestand, Santa Clara men's basketball takes to the road for the next three, beginning Saturday at Loyola Marymount (7-7, 0-3). Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
The Broncos (8-8, 2-1), who have won five of their last seven, overcame a slow start Thursday against the Portland Pilots to post their most convincing WCC win in nearly four years. Junior guard Kai Healy came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points and sophomore guard KJ Feagin added 17 to lead Santa Clara past the Pilots, 70-42. Senior Jared Brownridge scored only eight, but that was enough for him to reach 2,000 career points. He became only the second Bronco and 11th player in conference history to hit that milestone. Portland's Alec Wintering, who came in averaging a conference-high 21.9 points per contest, was held to a season-low eight in a game the Broncos led by as many as 30. The margin of victory was the largest for Santa Clara in WCC play since an 85-54 triumph against San Francisco on Jan. 17, 2013.
LMU enters Saturday having dropped four of five games, but three of those were to UT Arlington, 19th-ranked Saint Mary's and BYU, which have a combined record of 36-9 this season.
Brownridge leads four Santa Clara players in double figures at 17.8 ppg, which ranks sixth in the league. Feagin is second on the team at 13.0 ppg, though he has played in only the last four games after missing 12 due to injury. Sophomore guard Matt Hauser, who served as the primary point guard when Feagin was out, is averaging 10.1 points (fourth on the team) and a team-best 5.3 assists per game, which ranks No. 6 in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.7-to-1 is second in the league and No. 11 in the country. Senior forward Nate Kratch is third in scoring (10.3 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.4 pg).
|Video||TheW.tv (out of region)
|TV||CSN California, Spectrum SportsNet, ROOT NW, ROOT RM|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | LMU|
• 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.
• Jared Brownridge, the second-leading scorer in school history (2,001), needs nine points to crack the WCC's top 10 all-time list. Bo Kimble of LMU (1987-90) is currently 10th with 2,010. Brownridge is also fourth among active leading scorers in NCAA Division I (see charts on page 6).
• KJ Feagin, the team's starting point guard and an All-WCC Freshman team pick last year, suited up for the first time this year in the Valparaiso game (Dec. 22). Feagin broke a 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, and the workload and production have increased. Feagin has averaged 36 minutes and 19.5 points in the last two games. Sophomore guard Evan Wardlow (hamstring) has also been limited with injuries. Wardlow reinjured his hamstring in practice last month and is out indefinitely.
• Santa Clara has the best turnover margin in the WCC (+2.6 per game) and the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1). Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 68.0 points per game (No. 10 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 65.1 ppg, which ranks third in the conference. Santa Clara is 8-2 this season when scoring 65 or more points. LMU ranks second in the WCC in turnover margin (+1.5 per game) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3-to-1).
• Guards Jared Brownridge and Matt Hauser, and forward Nate Kratch have started all 16 games. Brownridge is averaging more than 37 minutes and Hauser nearly 35 per game. Hauser played just two minutes in Thursday's Portland game after leaving due to injury. Kratch is averaging almost 32 minutes per contest. Brownridge played 30 minutes against Northern Colorado (Nov. 19) due to foul trouble and a season-low 28 at BYU (Dec. 29), but has played at least 33 minutes in the other 14 contests. Hauser has played less than 34 minutes only twice. Brownridge (49), Kratch (48) and Hauser (46) nearly played the entire Valparaiso game (Dec. 22) ... Brownridge had 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). He also had only eight against BYU (Dec. 29) and the same amount vs. Portland (Jan. 5). Brownridge has scored in double figures in 35 of the last 38 games, including 20 or more points in 20 ... Brownridge went 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) on 3-pointers in the opening four games but has been more himself the last 12, hitting 47 of 108 (43.5 percent) ... Hauser has scored in double figures eight times this season (six of the last nine games), including a career-high 18 vs. UC Riverside, all in the last 12 games. He scored in double figures four times in 2015-16 ... After reaching double figures in three of the first nine games, Kratch has scored at least 10 points in five of the last seven contests. He is averaging 12.7 points and connecting on 38 of 79 FGs (48.1 percent) in the last seven games. Kratch is also averaging 10.2 rebounds in the last five games and missed a double-double by one carom vs. BYU (Dec. 29) and USF (Dec. 31) ... after not seeing action in the first seven games, junior center Emmanuel Ndumanya has played in the last nine. He assumed the starting center role in the Cal State East Bay game (Dec. 10) and has been in the opening lineup the last seven games, averaging 3.7 points and 6.0 rebounds ... 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 shooting a season-low 28.3 percent from the field in a loss to San Jose State (Dec. 3), the Broncos connected on a 46.6 percent in the next four games, but were held to only 30.4 vs. BYU (Dec. 29). In the last two games, the Broncos have shot a combined 45.5 percent from the floor, including 47.4 from behind the 3-point line. Santa Clara averages 9.6 made 3-pointers per game (No. 2 in the WCC) ... 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) ... the Broncos have the lowest rebounding margin in the WCC (-3.2 pg).
Scouting Loyola Marymount...
Under head coach Mike Dunlap, the Lions of Loyola Marymount are 7-7 on the year, including 0-3 in West Coast Conference action. Senior guard Brandon Brown leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and assists (5.3 apg). Senior wing Buay Tuach is second on the team in scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg) while senior center Stefan Jovanovic is the third-leading scorer (11.1 ppg) and is tops in rebounding (5.4 rpg). The Lions are a very unselfish team, averaging 17.0 assists per game, the No. 32 mark in the nation and No. 3 in the league. On the defensive side, LMU leads the WCC in turnovers forced at 14.50 per game.
The LMU Series...
The series began in 1937 and the Broncos hold an 87-58 lead. Santa Clara has won five of the last seven, including all three meetings in 2015-16. The teams split last year, with LMU winning 76-66 in Santa Clara (Jan. 16) and the Broncos claiming a 76-72 victory (Feb. 18). Santa Clara has won the last two in Los Angeles.
Impressive Win vs. Portland...
After trailing midway through the first half against Portland on Thursday, Santa Clara was able to flip the switch and outscore the Pilots 61-24 during the final 30 minutes to claim a 70-42 victory.
• The margin of victory was the largest for the Broncos in WCC play since an 85-54 triumph against San Francisco on Jan. 17, 2013.
• Portland posted its lowest point total since a 77-42 loss at Saint Mary's on Feb. 2, 2013.
• Portland's point total was the lowest by a Santa Clara league opponent in nearly nine years. The Broncos defeated LMU, 58-35, on Jan. 19, 2008.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (color) call the action for the Broncos, though the LMU game will not be carried over the air. 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.
Connect with the Broncos on Social Media