SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball closes out its stretch of four straight road games this week with meetings against San Francisco and Pacific. The Broncos and Dons, who are tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference standings, meet Thursday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. from War Memorial at the Sobrato Center.
Last Thursday, the Broncos (13-12, 7-5) topped Portland, 60-45, led by their three starting guards. Senior Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 17 points, sophomore KJ Feagin added 14 and guard Matt Hauser chipped in 13 with a game-best seven assists to enable Santa Clara to sweep the season series with the Pilots. But two days later, the Broncos fell at No. 1 Gonzaga, 90-55, to snap their three-game, road-winning streak. Feagin posted a team-best 18 points and Brownridge tallied 13 against the Bulldogs, who shot a blistering 61 percent to overcome an early deficit.
USF (17-8, 7-5) enters Thursday's matchup having won six of its last seven games, including the last three.
Brownridge leads four Bronco players in double figures at 18.2 ppg, which ranks fourth in the league. He is first in the WCC and 11th nationally averaging 3.4 3-point field goals per game. Feagin is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg, though he has only played in the last 13 contests after missing the first 12 due to injury. He's averaged 5.1 assists in WCC games, which ranks third among league players. Hauser is averaging 10.2 points and 5.3 assists per game, fourth overall in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.5-to-1 is second in the league and No. 8 in the country. Kratch is fourth in scoring (10.1 ppg) and his team-high 6.6 rebounds pg (No. 6 in the WCC).
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 (San Jose, Calif.)
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | San Francisco|
• 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. He is one of four first-year head coaches in the WCC and has a 3-0 mark in meetings with the others this season.
• 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); the 6-3 record after nine games the best since 2012-13 (also 6-3); the 7-4 mark was the best since 2006-07 (9-2) … Santa Clara's 76-68 win over BYU (Jan. 26) snapped a 14-game losing streak in the series, including all 13 in WCC action ... Santa Clara won three straight league road games (San Diego, Jan. 12; Pepperdine, Jan. 14; Portland, Feb. 2) for the first time since 2012-13 when it beat San Francisco (Jan. 17), Pepperdine (Jan. 19) and San Diego (Jan. 26)… this year's wins vs. San Diego and Pepperdine also marked the first victories in back-to-back road games overall and in WCC play in almost four years (San Francisco, Jan. 17, 2013; Pepperdine, Jan. 19, 2013).
• Jared Brownridge (2,172) ranks second in school history and fifth on the WCC all-time scoring list. With 13 points vs. Gonzaga (Feb. 4), he passed Anthony Ireland of LMU (2,169/2010-14) who was fifth. Brownridge (1,191) also became the all-time scoring leader in league games, passing Hank Gathers of LMU (1,190/1987-90). 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 third among active leading scorers in NCAA Division.
@23jbrown keeps rising up the @wccsports all-time scoring lists. Last week, he moved to 5th on the overall points list and the all-time leader in league games. This season, Brownridge has passed such #WCCHoops greats as Bill Cartwright of @donsathletics, Bo Kimble of @lmubasketball, Matthew Dellavedova of @smcgaels and Adam Morrison of @zagmbb. #SCUBroncos #StampedeAhead #ncaabasketball
Hanging on To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the second-best turnover margin in the WCC (No. 38 in the nation) at plus-1.9 per game, trailing only Gonzaga (+2.0), and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3-to-1). The Broncos average just 10.6 turnovers per game, the 13th-best mark in the country. Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 66.0 points per game (No. 10 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 66.0 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 5.3 per game and KJ Feagin is averaging 5.0 per contest, though he's only played 13 games and out of official rankings. The Broncos average 14.4 assists pg, which is fifth in the league, but they are among the best in the conference based on assists per made field goals. The Broncos are second overall in the WCC in assist percentage (61.4) and first in league games (65.2).
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 18.2 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 last month Hauser missed nearly all of three contests, two (Portland, Jan. 5; LMU, Jan. 7) with a concussion and another (Saint Mary's, Jan. 28) with the flu. In the 10 games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 7-3 record with Brownridge averaging 21.1 points on 44.8 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. They have combined for 67.5 percent of the team's points (448 of 664) and 85.5 percent of the assists (124 of 145), as well as shooting 44.8 percent on FGs and 43.0 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), BYU (Jan. 26), Portland (Feb. 2) and Gonzaga (Feb. 4). 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 San Francisco...
Head coach Kyle Smith has the San Francisco Dons off to an 17-8 start, including a 7-5 record in West Coast Conference play. Senior guard Ronnie Boyce leads the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game. Freshman guard Charles Minlend (10.4 ppg) and junior forward Chase Foster (9.8 ppg) are the other top scorers for USF. The Dons have attempted 627 three-pointers on the season, the second-highest mark in the WCC. Their 9.3 three-pointers made per game is also second in the league and 32nd in the country.
The San Francisco Series...
The series began in 1908 and the Broncos hold a 113-106 lead. The 219 meetings are the most of any Santa Clara opponent. The Dons have captured five of the last seven games between the teams, though the Broncos snapped a three-game series losing streak with a 72-58 win on Dec. 31. USF has captured five of the last six meetings in War Memorial Gym, including the last three.
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 13 contests. Feagin has averaged 15.3 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 35.9 minutes during the last 11 games. The Broncos are 8-5 since Feagin returned to the lineup.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) will call the action vs. San Francisco on KLIV AM-1590 in San Jose, California. 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 serving as the broadcast outlet for 25 Santa Clara games this season and a selected few can be heard on KSCU FM-103.3 and KDOW AM-1220.
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