SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After splitting its last four games, all on the road, Santa Clara men's basketball is home for its next three, beginning Thursday with the second meeting of the season against resurgent Pepperdine. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Broncos (14-13, 8-6), who have won six of their last eight in Leavey Center, are in a tie for fourth in the West Coast Conference standings with San Francisco, one game behind third-place BYU. Santa Clara fell at San Francisco, 61-58, on Thursday despite rallying to within one point after trailing by as many as 25. But the Broncos bounced back with a convincing 64-47 win at Pacific on Saturday by hitting nearly 50 percent from the floor and holding the Tigers to 31 percent.
The Waves (9-17, 5-9), who like the Broncos have struggled with injuries, have won their last three games.
Senior guard Jared Brownridge leads the team and ranks third in the WCC in scoring (18.4 ppg). He is first in the WCC and 10th nationally averaging 3.4 3-point field goals per game. Sophomore guard KJ Feagin is second on the team in scoring at 14.4 ppg, though he has only played in the last 15 contests after missing the first 12 due to injury. Feagin is averaging 15.1 points (seventh in the WCC) and 4.7 assists per game (third) in league games. Only Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss (17.2/4.5) is averaging at least 15 points and producing 4.0 or more assists in WCC games. Sophomore guard Matt Hauser is averaging 9.8 points and 5.1 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. Senior forward Nate Kratch is averaging 9.9 ppg and a team-high 6.7 rebounds pg (No. 7 in the WCC).
|Audio||KLIV AM-1590 in Santa Clara
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Pepperdine
• 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. Sendek is 4-1 in his meetings with the three other new head coaches in the WCC.
• Santa Clara, which has had seven players miss time due to injury, has already eclipsed its win total (11) from last season and posted the best turnaround in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos have posted a 5.0 game improvement so far this season compared to 2015-16 when they were 11-20. San Francisco (18-9) is second at 4.5 games (15-15 in 2015-16).
• In Saturday's game vs. Pacific, Jared Brownridge, the second-leading scorer in school history (2,213), moved to fourth on the WCC all-time scoring list, passing LMU's Terrell Lowery (2,201/1988-92). Brownridge needed 14 points to equal Lowery entering the game and passed him on a 3-pointer with 17:23 left in the second half. Brownridge (1,232) 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 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.
The 4-2 start by the Broncos 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).
Hanging On To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the second-best turnover margin in the WCC at plus-1.8 per game, trailing only Gonzaga (+1.8), and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3-to-1). The Broncos average just 10.5 turnovers per game, the 13th-best mark in the country. Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 65.6 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 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 5.1 per game and KJ Feagin is averaging 4.7 per contest, though he's only played 15 games and out of official rankings. The Broncos average 14.0 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 (60.1) and first in league games (62.2)
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 18.4 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 two contests with a concussion (Portland, Jan. 5; LMU, Jan. 7) and another (Saint Mary's, Jan. 28) with the flu. In the 12 games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 8-4 record with Brownridge averaging 21.0 points on 46.0 percent shooting from the floor. They have combined for 68.2 percent of the team's points (536 of 786) and 85.9 percent of the assists (140 of 163), as well as shooting 45.2 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), Gonzaga (Feb. 4), San Francisco (Feb. 9) and Pacific (Feb. 11).
Pepperdine, led by sixth-year head coach Marty Wilson, are 9-17 (5-9 WCC) on the year and are riding a three-game winning streak. Senior wing Lamond Murray Jr., who averages 20.9 points per game on the year, leads the league in scoring, total field goal attempts (429) and field goals made (211). Murray's made field goals are also the third-best total in the nation. Senior forward Chris Reyes scores 13.7 points per game and shoots 53.4 percent from the field, the third-best mark in the conference and No. 60 ranked in the country.
The Pepperdine Series...
The series began in 1956 and the Broncos hold a 74-59 lead with last month's 75-61 win in Malibu. Entering this season, the teams had split the previous 10 games in the series. The Broncos have won three of the last four games in Leavey Center. Jared Brownridge scored a school freshman-record 38 points at Pepperdine on March 1, 2014, leading the Broncos to an 86-78 victory. He also hit a game-winning 3-pointer in last year's 62-60 victory in Leavey Center.
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 [email protected]. 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 60 minutes prior to the start of the 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. Pepperdine 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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