SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball snapped a two-game skid on Thursday with a gritty road win against rival San Francisco and now plays host to one of the top teams in the nation as Gonzaga visits Leavey Center. Tipoff, in a game presented by Devcon, is set for 5 p.m.
The Broncos (7-12, 4-3) led nearly the entire game and held off the Dons 65-62 by hitting free throws down the stretch. On Saturday, BYU jumped out to an early lead and pulled away in the second half for an 84-50 win against Santa Clara.
Gonzaga (16-4, 6-1), ranked No. 13 in both major polls, suffered its first WCC loss of the season on Thursday, falling at home to Saint Mary's, 74-71. The Bulldogs have won nine of their last 11 and are 4-1 on the road this season.
• Junior guard KJ Feagin scored a game-high 23, including 19 in the second half, and senior guard/forward Henry Caruso posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Dons who were held to 41 percent from the floor. The Broncos suffered 18 turnovers, but connected on 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:42.
• Yoeli Childs (22 points and 13 rebounds) and Elijah Bryant (14 points and 12 rebounds) each produced double-doubles and TJ Haws scored 14 to lead BYU past the Broncos. Freshman forward Josip Vrankic posted a career-high 20 points, but he was the only player in double figures for the Broncos who shot just 34 percent for the game, including 7 of 27 in the second half.
• Feagin leads the team and ranks fourth in the WCC in scoring (17.6 ppg). Caruso is second on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg) and first with 6.7 rebounds per game, No. 7 in the league. Vrankic (11.6 ppg) and junior guard Matt Hauser (10.4) are also scoring in double figures. Vrankic ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.8 pg) while Hauser is fifth in the WCC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2-to-1), averaging 3.7 assists pg, No. 8 in the league. Feagin (2.3) and Hauser (2.2) and rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in the WCC in 3-pointers per game.
• Caruso is one of only two players in the WCC to rank in the top 20 in scoring (18th), and top 10 in both rebounding and steals (sixth - 1.4 pg). Guard Elijah Bryant of BYU is second in scoring (18.3 ppg), eighth in rebounding (6.4 pg) and tied for seventh in steals (1.4 pg).
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|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Gonzaga|
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).
• The Broncos have generally held on to the ball, registering just 11.8 turnovers per game and possessing a +2.1 turnover margin pg (first in the WCC).
• Gonzaga shoots 51.1 percent from the floor (second in the WCC) and allow opponents to shoot just 41.0 (second in the WCC). Opponents shoot the ball well against Santa Clara - 50.5 percent from the field, including 41.8 on 3-pointers. Gonzaga is one of the top rebounding teams in the nation with a +9.7 margin per game - fifth in the nation.
• Senior forward Johnathan Williams, one of six Gonzaga players scoring in double figures, is the leading point producer (14.1 pg) and rebounder (7.2 pg). Junior guard Josh Perkins is averaging 13.3 ppg and 5.6 assists per game (No. 3 in the WCC).
THE GONZAGA SERIES
In a series which began in 1946, Gonzaga leads, 60-30. The Bulldogs have won the last 16 meetings. Santa Clara's last victory occurred on Jan. 20, 2011, when the Broncos downed the Bulldogs, 85-71, in Leavey Center.
In the last seven games, the Broncos have posted their five fewest foul totals of the year, including a season-low 10 vs. Portland (Jan. 6) ... the Broncos are 6-3 this season when shooting more than 40 percent from the floor ... KJ Feagin has reached double figures in 17 of the team's 19 games (nine points vs. Gonzaga, Dec. 30; nine points vs. BYU, Jan. 13) ... Feagin has seven of the team's 12 20-point scoring games this season ... during the last five games, Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.8 points ... Feagin has connected on 27 of his last 29 free-throw attempts ... a career 52 percent free-throw shooter, Emmanuel Ndumanya has made 15 of his last 17 from the line ... after connecting 61 of 78 (78.2) from the free-throw line in the previous five outings, including a season high 88.2 percent (15 of 17) against Pepperdine (Dec. 28), the Broncos went 4-for-11 against BYU (Jan. 13). But Santa Clara rebounded with an 18-for-26 (69.2) effort against San Francisco (Jan. 18).
BRONCO BASH - GONZAGA PREGAME EVENT
The inaugural Bronco Bash is set for Saturday at the Locatelli Event Center before Santa Clara's matchup with Gonzaga. From 2 to 4 p.m., fans can enjoy camaraderie with fellow Bronco supporters, the Santa Clara pep band and dance team ahead of one of the biggest games of the year. The 21-and-over event, priced at $45, includes selections from several local craft breweries and appetizers, as well as an auction. The first 50 SCU Young Alumni (graduation years between 2008–17) to sign up will receive entrance to the Bronco Bash AND a ticket to the game, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Leavey Center. Click here to register.
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 or BYUtv) 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. Saturday's game can be heard on Livestream.com. View the 2017-18 schedule for broadcast outlets.
Single-game tickets 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 BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Doors to Leavey Center will be open 90 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.