SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's basketball, which has won five of its last seven, continues its four-game homestand Thursday when BYU comes to town. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Leavey Center.
After falling to then fourth-ranked Gonzaga Thursday in sold-out Leavey Center, the Broncos rebounded with a thrilling 64-63 win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Senior guard Jared Brownridge scored 25 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. He had 17 of the team's 28 second-half points and nailed his fourth-career game-winner in the closing seconds.
Santa Clara (11-10, 5-3), in fourth place in the WCC standings, one game behind BYU, will look to even the season series with the Cougars (15-6, 6-2), who downed the Broncos, 89-59, in Provo, Utah, on Dec. 29. Santa Clara closes out the homestand Saturday vs. No. 21/21 Saint Mary's.
Brownridge, who has scored 20 or more in the last four, leads three Bronco players in double figures at 18.5 ppg, which ranks fourth in the West Coast Conference. He is first in the WCC and tied for 10th nationally averaging 3.6 3-point field goals per game. Sophomore guard KJ Feagin is second on the team at 13.6 ppg, though he has only played in the last nine contests after missing the first 12 due to injury. Sophomore guard Matt Hauser, who served as the primary point guard in Feagin's absence, is averaging 10.2 points and a team-best 5.1 assists per game, which ranks No. 4 in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.3-to-1 is second in the league and No. 17 in the country. Senior forward Nate Kratch is fourth in scoring (9.8 ppg) and his team-high 6.7 rebounds per game ranks sixth in the league.
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 in Santa Clara
|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.
• The Broncos' 4-2 start in WCC play was their best since 2010-11 (opened 6-2) and the 5-3 record is the top mark after eight games since 2012-13 (also 5-3) … Santa Clara recently won two straight on the road in the league for the first time since 2013-14 when it beat Portland, 76-68, on Dec. 30, and Saint Mary's, 57-55, on Jan. 9 … the wins vs. San Diego (Jan. 12) and Pepperdine (Jan. 14) marked the first victories in back-to-back games overall and in WCC play in almost four years. The Broncos defeated San Francisco, 85-54, on Jan. 17, 2013, and Pepperdine, 83-76, two days later.
• Jared Brownridge (2,104) ranks second in school history and seventh on the WCC all-time scoring list. He needs 12 more points to reach Bill Cartwright of San Francisco (2,116/1975-79) in sixth place. Brownridge (1,123) is also third on the list for scoring in WCC games. He needs 19 points to reach Tyler Haws of BYU (1,142/2012-15) in second (see charts on page 6). In the 70-42 win over Portland (Jan. 5), Brownridge became only the second Bronco and 11th player in conference history to reach 2,000 career points. Brownridge is also fourth among active leading scorers in NCAA Division I (see charts on page 4).
• The Santa Clara coaching staff will participate in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week, a nationwide event to raise awareness about the American Cancer Society, for the BYU and Saint Mary's games.
Feagin's Return Gives Backcourt A Boost...
Guard 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 during the first week of preseason practice and missed the opening 12 games. He has played in the last nine contests, gradually increasing his workload. Feagin has averaged 15.6 points, 6.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor in 35.0 minutes during the last seven games. The Broncos are 6-3 since Feagin returned to the lineup.
Hanging on To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the best turnover margin in the WCC (+2.0 per game) and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1). Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 66.6 points per game (No. 10 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 65.5 ppg, which ranks third in the conference. Santa Clara is 9-2 this season when scoring 65 or more points. Guards Matt Hauser and KJ Feagin, the primary ballhandlers, have been able to hold on to the basketball. During eight WCC games, they have combined for just 25 turnovers while dishing out 75 assists (3.0-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio).
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 18.5 points per game, which ranks fourth in the West Coast Conference. But that total and his shooting accuracy increases with fellow guards Matt Hauser and KJ Feagin in the lineup. Feagin was out for the first 12 games of the season with a foot injury and Hauser recently missed nearly all of two contests with a concussion. In the seven games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 5-2 record with Brownridge averaging 22.3 points on 46.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. They have combined for 66.4 percent of the team's points (314 of 473) and 83.2 percent of the assists (89 of 107), as well as shooting 45.0 percent on FGs and 42.4 percent from the behind the 3-point line in games against Valparaiso (Dec. 22), BYU (Dec. 29), USF (Dec. 31), San Diego (Jan. 12), Pepperdine (Jan. 14), Gonzaga (Jan. 19) and LMU (Jan. 21). The production of those three was on display in the 59-57 win vs. San Diego as Brownridge (20), Feagin (19) and Hauser (10) combined for 49 points (83.1 percent), 11 of the team's 13 assists (84.6 percent) and only three of the 10 turnovers (30 percent).
Head coach Dave Rose and his BYU Cougars boast a 15-6 record, including 6-2 in league play, in his 11th season at the helm. The Cougars average 83.1 points per game, the No. 20 mark in the nation. BYU also dominates the glass, hauling in 43.76 rebounds per game, which is good for the third-best total in the country. On average, BYU out-rebounds its opponents by 6.7 per game. Sophomore forward Eric Mika, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, has knocked down 131 free throws (167 attempts) the second-highest total in the nation. Mika pours in 20.4 points (No. 2 in the WCC) and grabs 9.7 rebounds per game (first in the league). Sophomore guard Nick Emery chips in 14.5 points per game.
The BYU Series...
The series began in 1951 and BYU leads 28-5. The Cougars have won the last 14 meetings, including all 13 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.
• Guard Jared Brownridge and forward Nate Kratch are the only players to start all 21 games. Brownridge is averaging more than 37 minutes and Kratch 33-plus per game. Guard Matt Hauser is averaging nearly 35 per game, but played just two minutes vs. Portland (Jan. 5) after leaving due to a concussion and sat out against LMU (Jan. 7). 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 19 contests. Hauser has played less than 34 minutes only three times. Brownridge (49), Kratch (48) and Hauser (46) nearly played the entire Valparaiso game (Dec. 22). Brownridge, Kratch and Kai Healy played all 40 minutes vs. LMU (Jan. 7) ... 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). Brownridge, who has scored in double figures in 39 of the last 43 games, including 20 or more points in 24, snapped out of a mini-slump (single-digit scoring in two straight games) with 20 vs. San Diego (Jan. 12) and 30 against Pepperdine (Jan. 14) ... Brownridge went 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) on 3-pointers in the opening four games but has been more himself the last 17, hitting 71 of 164 (43.3 percent) ... Hauser has scored in double figures 10 times this season (nine of his last 13 games), including a career-high 18 vs. UC Riverside. 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 seven of the last 12. He is averaging 10.4 points and connecting on 55 of 117 FGs (47.0 percent) in the last 13 contests. Kratch is also averaging 8.8 rebounds in the last ten games and missed a double-double by one carom vs. BYU (Dec. 29), USF (Dec. 31) and LMU (Jan. 7) ... after not seeing action in the first seven games, junior center Emmanuel Ndumanya has played in the last 14. He assumed the starting center role in the Cal State East Bay game (Dec. 10) and has been in the opening lineup the last 12 games, averaging 3.8 points and 5.8 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. But Pugh has missed the last three games with a foot injury and is out indefinitely.
• Santa Clara has been trying to find some consistency shooting from the floor. The Broncos, who rank eighth in the WCC in FG percentage (42.8), have connected on 50 percent or more in four games and less than 40 percent seven times. The team is 10-2 this season when connecting on at least 43 percent from the field and 7-2 when hitting 40 percent or higher from behind the 3-point line. Conversely, Santa Clara is just 5-9 when the opposition shoots 45-plus percent from the field ... Santa Clara averages 9.6 made 3-pointers per game (tied for No. 1 in the WCC). The Broncos are 6-3 on the year when nailing 10 or more from beyond the 3-point line ... Santa Clara is 4-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponents, but the Broncos have the lowest rebounding margin in the WCC (-3.7 pg).
Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Doors to Leavey Center, as well as its ticket office, will be open 90 minutes prior to the start of the BYU game.
Parking: Parking is $10 in the main campus parking structure, which is located on Palm Drive through the main entrance. The Leavey Center parking lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is reserved for season-ticket holders. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (color) will call the action vs. BYU 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 the broadcast outlet for 25 Santa Clara games this season and a selected few will can be heard on KSCU FM-103.3 and KDOW AM-1220.
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