SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's basketball, which has won six of its last eight, closes a four-game homestand Saturday with No. 21/21 Saint Mary's. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. from Leavey Center.
The Broncos (12-10, 6-3) secured their biggest victory of the Herb Sendek era Thursday by knocking off the BYU, 76-68, for the first time since the Cougars joined the West Coast Conference. Senior guard Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 25 points, including 14 in the second half, while senior forward Nate Kratch and sophomore guard KJ Feagin tallied 16 each for Santa Clara, which drained a season-high tying 14 3-pointers to move into a tie for third with Cougars in the conference standings.
Saint Mary's (18-2, 8-1) comes in as the best 3-point shooting team (39.7 percent) in the WCC while allowing the fewest points (57.2 pg).
Brownridge, who has averaged 24.6 points in the last five games, leads four Bronco players in double figures at 18.8 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 13.8 ppg, though he has only played in the last 10 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 5.2 assists per game, which ranks No. 4 in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.4-to-1 is second in the league and No. 13 in the country. Senior forward Nate Kratch is fourth in scoring (10.1 ppg) and his team-high 6.8 rebounds pg (No. 6 in the WCC).
|TV||CSN CA, Spectrum SN, ROOT NW/Rocky Mountain|
||TheW.tv (out of region)|
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 in Santa Clara
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Saint Mary's|
• 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 has already eclipsed its win total (11) from last season ... the 4-2 start in WCC play was the best since 2010-11 (opened 6-2) and the 6-3 record is the best after nine games since 2012-13 (also 6-3) … the Broncos have won six of their last seven home games ... Thursday's win vs. BYU snapped a 14-game losing streak in the series, including all 13 in WCC action ... Santa Clara recently won two straight on the road in the league (San Diego, Jan. 12; Pepperdine, Jan. 14) 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 … those road wins also 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 (2,129) ranks second in school history and moved to sixth on the WCC all-time scoring list Thursday after passing Bill Cartwright of San Francisco (2,116/1975-79) with 25 points vs. BYU. Brownridge (1,148) also moved to second on the list for scoring in WCC games, passing Tyler Haws of BYU who had 1,142 from 2012-15. 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.
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 10 contests, gradually increasing his workload. Feagin has averaged 15.6 points, 5.9 assists and 39 rebounds while shooting 44.0 percent from the floor (44.6 percent on 3-pointers) in 35.5 minutes during the last seven games. The Broncos are 7-3 since Feagin returned to the lineup.
Hanging on To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the second-best turnover margin in the WCC (+2.0 per game), trailing only Gonzaga (+2.2), and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3-to-1). Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 67.0 points per game (No. 10 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 65.6 ppg, which ranks third in the conference. Santa Clara is 10-2 this season when scoring 65 or more points.
Sharing the Basketball...
Santa Clara has two of the top assist producers in the WCC with Matt Hauser ranking fourth at 5.2 per game and KJ Feagin averaging 5.5 per contest, though he's only played 10 games and out of official rankings. The Broncos average 14.5 assists pg, which is fifth in the league, but they are among the best in the conference based on assists per made field goals. Santa Clara is second overall in the league with assists on 60.0 percent of its field goals and first in WCC games at 65.7 percent.
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 18.8 points per game (No. 4 in the WCC). 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 eight games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 6-2 record with Brownridge averaging 22.3 points on 46.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. They have combined for 66.7 percent of the team's points (366 of 549) and 85.4 percent of the assists (105 of 123), as well as shooting 44.6 percent on FGs and 42.2 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), LMU (Jan. 21) and BYU (Jan. 26). 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).
Scouting Saint Mary's...
Randy Bennett is in his 16th year as head coach of Saint Mary's and he has the Gaels off to an 18-2 start (8-1 WCC). SMC has one of the most efficient offenses in the country, boasting the fourth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the nation at 1.58, recording 17.3 assists per game to 11.0 turnovers. The Gaels also shoot 50.0 percent from the field (No. 8 in the nation) and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc (No. 19 in the nation). Bennett's squad plays a very slow brand of basketball, registering just 60.1 possessions per 40 minutes (per KenPom), the lowest mark in the country. Junior center Jock Landale leads the team in scoring at 16.6 points per game and shoots 61.3 percent from the field. Landale is also the top rebounder on the team (9.5 pg).
The Saint Mary's Series...
Santa Clara and Saint Mary's are longtime rivals and original West Coast Conference members. The series began in 1910 and the teams will be playing for the 221st time, the most common opponent in Santa Clara history. The Broncos lead the series 133-87. The Gaels have won four of the last six meetings.
Coaches vs. Cancer Initiative...
The Santa Clara coaching staff is participating in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week, a nationwide event to raise awareness about the American Cancer Society. The staff donne special sneakers for BYU and will again for the Saint Mary's game.
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 Saint Mary's 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. Saint Mary's 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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