SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball finishes a stretch of four road games Saturday with its first meeting of the season against Pacific. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Alex G. Spanos Center.
The Broncos (13-13, 7-6) sit fifth in the West Coast Conference standings after dropping Thursday's matchup with rival San Francisco, 61-58. The Dons led by as many as 25 in the first half before the Broncos, who had just eight scholarship players available, battled to within one point late in the game led by sophomore guard KJ Feagin (career-high tying 26 points) and senior guard Jared Brownridge (14 second-half points). The Broncos are one game behind both San Francisco and BYU in the standings.
Pacific (9-17, 3-10) snapped a seven-game skid Thursday with a 61-58 home win vs. San Diego. The Broncos and Tigers split the series last season with each team winning on its home court.
Brownridge leads three Bronco players in double figures at 18.1 ppg, which ranks third in the league. He is first in the WCC and 12th nationally averaging 3.4 3-point field goals per game. Feagin is second on the team in scoring at 14.8 ppg, though he has only played in the last 14 contests after missing the first 12 due to injury. Feagin is averaging 15.5 points (seventh in the WCC) and 4.8 assists per game (third) in league games. Only Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss (17.5/4.6) is averaging at least 15 points and producing 4.0 or more assists in WCC games. Hauser is averaging 10.2 points and 5.2 assists per game, third overall in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.4-to-1 is second in the league and No. 8 in the country. Kratch is fourth in scoring (9.7 ppg) and his team-high 6.5 rebounds pg (No. 7 in the WCC).
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 (San Jose, Calif.)
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Pacific|
• 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 and Pacific's Damon Stoudamire are two of the four first-year head coaches in the WCC. So far Sendek has gone 3-1 in meetings with the other two.
• Santa Clara has already eclipsed its win total (11) from last season ... the Broncos have dropped their last two after winning five of their previous seven games ... 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 WCC 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 (2,187) ranks second in school history and fifth on the WCC all-time scoring list. He needs 14 points to reach LMU's Terrell Lowery (2,201/1988-92) in fourth. Brownridge (1,191) is also the all-time scoring leader in WCC games. He passed Hank Gathers of LMU (1,190/1987-90) vs. Gonzaga (Feb. 4). 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 I.
Hanging On To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the second-best turnover margin in the WCC 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 14th-best mark in the country. Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 65.7 points per game (No. 10 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 65.8 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 third at 5.2 per game and KJ Feagin is averaging 4.8 per contest, though he's only played 14 games and out of official rankings. The Broncos average 14.1 assists pg, which is fifth in the league, but they are among the best in the conference based on assists per made field goals.T he Broncos are second overall in the WCC in assist percentage (60.5) and first in league games (63.1)
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 18.1 points per game (No. 3 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 11 games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 7-4 record with Brownridge averaging 20.5 points on 44.1 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. They have combined for 69.1 percent of the team's points (499 of 722) and 85.5 percent of the assists (130 of 152), as well as shooting 45.1 percent on FGs and 44.0 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), Gonzaga (Feb. 4) and San Francisco (Feb. 9). 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).
Pacific is 9-17 on the year and 3-10 in league play under first-year head coach Damon Stoudamire. The Tigers snapped a seven-game losing streak on Thursday when they defeated San Diego, 61-58, at home. Junior forward Ray Bowles leads the team in both scoring (13.0 points per game) and rebounds (3.8 pg). Senior guard T.J. Wallace is second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game and leads the squad in assists at 3.36 pg (84 total). Pacific grabs 12.36 offensive rebounds per game, the best mark in the conference.
The Pacific Series...
The Broncos have a 93-44 edge in a series that dates back to 1905. This is the fourth season the Tigers have been a member of the West Coast Conference, with the Broncos leading 4-3 in that span. But the teams have faced each other every season since 1994-95. The 137 games played are the fifth-most among all-time Santa Clara opponents.
Radio/Live Stream: Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) will call the action vs. Pacific 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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