SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball looks to get back on the winning track in its West Coast Conference opener. The Broncos meet Pepperdine on Thursday to close out a three-game homestand after a week off the court. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Leavey Center in the DICK'S Sporting Goods conference opener.
The Broncos (3-9) have dropped their last four after winning two in a row and the Waves (3-9) have lost three straight.
• Last time out the Broncos fell in the annual Cable Car Classic. Ryan Welage tallied 21 points and Keith Fisher posted a double-double (15 points/13 rebounds) to lead San Jose State to a 75-63 win over Santa Clara on Thursday. Junior guard KJ Feagin posted a game- and season-high tying 24 points and senior guard/forward Henry Caruso added 13 for the Broncos who shot just 30 percent from the floor, including 5 of 28 in the opening half. They trailed by 26 before making a furious rally to pull within five with five minutes left, but the Spartans scored 18 of their final 20 points at the free-throw line to close it out.
• In the opener of the three-game homestand on Dec. 18, Joe Burton posted 14 points to lead three players in double figures for Valparaiso, which used a balanced attack to outlast Santa Clara, 76-68. Nine Valpo players scored four or more points and five had at least four rebounds as the Crusaders shot a season-best 56 percent from the floor. Feagin matched his season-high with 24 points and Caruso added a season-best 22.
• After playing three games in eight days, the Broncos have six days off between contests.
• Feagin leads the team and ranks third in the WCC in scoring (19.0 ppg) on 48.2 percent shooting from the floor. Caruso is second on the team in scoring (13.4 ppg) and first with 7.0 rebounds per game, No. 7 in the league. Freshman forward Josip Vrankic (11.3 ppg) and junior guard Matt Hauser (10.1) are also scoring in double figures. Vrankic ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.4 pg) and Hauser is second in the WCC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9-to-1) and averages 4.3 assists pg, No. 7 in the league.
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Pepperdine|
YEAR TWO UNDER SENDEK
The Broncos are in their 111th year of existence, including second under Herb Sendek, who has been successful in each of his three previous head-coaching stops. With a resume that includes 18 postseason appearances and three conference coach of the year awards, Sendek, was one of the three youngest coaches with 400 or more career victories He is in his 24th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Santa Clara and Pepperdine have one common opponent from nonconference play with each falling to Cal Poly.
• Kameron Edwards, a sophomore forward, leads Pepperdine in both scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.8). Edwards is one of four players averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game. The Waves have a +5.0 rebound margin per game while the Broncos are -4.3.
• The Broncos have generally held on to the ball, registering just 11.1 turnovers per game and possessing a +3.4 turnover margin per game (first in the WCC). The Waves are at the opposite end, owning a -2.0 turnover margin. Opponents shoot the ball well against both the Broncos and Waves. Santa Clara foes shoot 49.8 percent from the floor, including 44.1 on 3-pointers. Pepperdine has a 48.7 defensive field-goal percentage, including 39.5 on 3-pointers.
THE PEPPERDINE SERIES
The series began in 1956 and the Broncos hold a 75-59 lead, including a sweep in 2016-17, though the series has been even in recent years. Entering last season, the teams had split the previous 10 games. The Broncos have won four of the last five games in Leavey Center. Santa Clara set a school record with 22 3-pointers in 106-55 victory on Feb. 16, 2017.
KJ Feagin has reached double figures in scoring in all 12 games and Henry Caruso in 10 ... Matt Hauser has 17 assists and just one turnover in the last three games ... Caruso, a 76-percent free-throw shooter at Princeton, has connected on 86.2 percent (50 of 58) from the line this season ... Hauser has started the last 22 games, most on the team ... Josip Vrankic had his streak of eight straight starts snapped vs. San Jose State (Dec. 21) has scored in double figures in six of his last seven appearances ... Vrankic averaged 19.0 minutes in the four games and 31.0 in his last seven ... Caruso played all but 1 minute, 34 seconds in a three-game stretch (Cal Poly on Nov. 18, through Alaska-Anchorage, Nov. 23). He was subbed out for 17 seconds in the second half of the Idaho contest (Nov. 22) and for 1:17 in the first half vs. Alaska-Anchorage (Nov. 23).
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) will call the action during the season on radio and through TheW.tv at home. 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). There will be 22 games on KDOW AM-1220 or KTRB-AM 860 this season. Thursday's game can be heard on KDOW AM-1220. View the 2017-18 schedule for broadcast outlets.
Single-game and mini-plan ticket options for WCC home games are available for purchase. For questions, contact the Santa Clara ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or [email protected]. Doors to Leavey Center will be open 60 minutes prior to the start of the game.
FAN EXPERIENCE PACKAGES
Group-ticket options and Fan Experience Packages are available through the Santa Clara ticket office, which is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Contact Jesse Moreno, one of our sales and service consultants, at (408) 554-4628 or [email protected] for further details.
Parking is $10 in the main campus parking structure, which is located on Palm Drive through the main entrance (500 El Camino Drive). 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.