SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's basketball closes out its home schedule Thursday on Senior Night against Pacific (10-19, 4-12), with the Broncos looking for the season series sweep after downing the Tigers, 64-47, on Feb. 11.
Santa Clara (15-14, 9-7), pushing for a top-four seed in next month's West Coast Conference Tournament as the most improved team in the league, earned a split in last week's two home games. The Broncos had a record-breaking 106-55 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday, but lost a double-overtime heartbreaker two days later to San Diego. Senior forward Nate Kratch scored a career-high 32 points, including 24 in the first half, against the Waves, leading the Broncos to their most lopsided win ever in WCC play. But with a chance to move into a tie for third in the league standings, Tyler Williams nailed a 16-foot jumper as time expired in the second overtime to lift the Toreros to a 60-58 win.
Senior guard Jared Brownridge leads the team and ranks third in the WCC in scoring (17.8 ppg). He is first in the WCC and 11th nationally averaging 3.34-point field goals per game. Sophomore guard KJ Feagin is second on the team in scoring at 14.8 ppg, though he has only played in the last 17 contests after missing the first 12 due to injury. Feagin is averaging 15.4 points (seventh in the WCC) and 4.6 assists per game (fifth) in league games. Only Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss (18.1/4.8) is averaging at least 15 points and producing 4.0 or more assists in WCC games. Sophomore guard Matt Hauser is averaging 9.9 points and 5.3 assists per game, third overall in the WCC. Hauser's assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.58-to-1 is first in the league and No. 7 in the country. Kratch is averaging 10.8 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 | Pacific
• Jared Brownridge and Nate Kratch, along with fellow senior Will Burkett, will be recognized during a ceremony, which will begin at 6:45 p.m.
• 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 is second (19-10) at 5.0 games (15-15 in 2015-16).
• 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, including a win over Damon Stoudamire's Pacific Tigers less than two weeks ago.
• Jared Brownridge ranks second on the school's all-time scoring list and fourth in WCC history (2,225). Brownridge (1,244) is also the all-time scoring leader in WCC games. In addition, the senior is third among active leading scorers in NCAA Division I.
The 4-2 start by Santa Clara 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); the .600 winning percentage (9-6) through 15 games was tied for the top mark in the last 10 years (9-6 in 2012-13) … 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).
Sharing the Basketball...
Santa Clara has two of the top assist producers in the WCC with Matt Hauser ranking third at 5.3 per game and KJ Feagin is averaging 4.6 per contest, though he's only played 17 games and out of official rankings. The Broncos average 14.6 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 (61.5) and first in league games (64.4)
Hanging on To The Basketball...
Santa Clara has the No. 1 turnover margin in the WCC at plus-1.9 per game and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1). The Broncos average just 10.5 turnovers per game (No. 14 in the country) and the fourth-best steal percentage (6.0) in the nation, according to KenPom.com. Those factors have helped offset an offense scoring 66.7 points per game (No. 8 in the league). However, the Broncos are allowing just 64.6 ppg, which ranks third in the conference. Santa Clara is 11-2 this season when scoring 65 or more points.
Jared Brownridge is the team's top scoring threat, posting 17.8 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 14 games that trio has been on the floor, the Broncos have posted a 9-5 record with Brownridge averaging 19.4 points on 45.1 percent shooting from the floor. They have combined for 64.5 percent of the team's points (613 of 950) and 84.6 percent of the assists (176 of 208), as well as shooting 45.2 percent on FGs and 43.6 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), Pacific (Feb. 11), Pepperdine (Feb. 16) and San Diego (Feb. 18).
Pacific is 10-19, including 4-12 in league play, under first-year head coach Damon Stoudamire. After losing seven straight, the Tigers have split the last four games. Junior forward Ray Bowles leads the team in scoring at 12.8 per game and hauls in 3.8 rebounds per contest. Senior guard T.J. Wallace is second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and leads the squad in assists at 3.3 per game. Pacific grabs 12.03 offensive rebounds per game, the best mark in the conference.
The Pacific Series...
The Broncos have a 94-44 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 5-3 in that span. But the teams have faced each other every season since 1994-95. The 138 games played are the fifth-most among all-time Santa Clara opponents.
So far this season, seven Santa Clara players have missed time due to injury for a total of 62 man-games
• Evan Crawford (9): suffered an abdominal injury prior to Gonzaga (Jan. 19) and has missed the last nine games
• KJ Feagin (12): suffered a broken bone in his right foot during the third preseason practice and missed the first 12 games of the year
• Matt Hauser (3): suffered a concussion in the opening minutes of the Portland game (Jan. 5) and missed the following contest at LMU (Jan. 7); did not play vs. Saint Mary's (Jan. 28) due to the flu
• Matt Hubbard (4): had reconstructive ankle surgery in the spring; missed four games before deciding to leave program following the Washington State contest (Dec. 17)
• Tony Lewis (8): suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and will not return to action this season
• Jarvis Pugh (13) - suffered a stress reaction in his left foot against Portland (Jan. 5) and has missed the last 13 games
• Evan Wardlow (13): had microfracture knee surgery in the spring and was not cleared to play until the fourth game of the season; missed the UC Irvine contest (Nov. 20); out of action for seven games due to a hamstring injury, returning vs. San Diego (Jan. 12); suffered a stress reaction in his left foot leading up to the San Francisco game (Feb. 9) and missed that contest as well as against Pacific (Feb. 11).
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 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. Pacific 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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