SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Riding a six-game winning streak, Santa Clara men's basketball will face its first ranked opponent of the season in No. 7/8 Gonzaga.
The Broncos hit the road to take on the Bulldogs on Saturday at 6 p.m. in McCarthey Athletic Center.
Santa Clara (9-6, 1-0), which will be playing its fourth road game of the season, opened West Coast Conference play on Thursday with a 68-56 win over San Diego behind a career-best 30 points from Tahj Eaddy. Keshawn Justice came off the bench to score 12, including eight in the second half, for the Broncos who went 22-for-27 from the free-throw line.
With eight victories in the last nine games, the Broncos have matched their best stretch since the end of 2010-11 through the opening game of the following season.
• Tahj Eaddy (16.7 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.0 points and 5.6 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Vrankic also ranks third in the WCC in blocked shots (1.4 pg). Trey Wertz (12.2) ranks first on the league freshman scoring list. Keshawn Justice, another freshman, is scoring at a 10.5 point-per-game clip. Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 9.9 per contest (No. 2 in the WCC) and is the most efficient 3-point shooter (45.5 percent) in the league.
• The Broncos have improved both offensively and defensively. They have averaged 79.8 points in the last nine games after posting 64.0 in the first six. In addition, Santa Clara opponents have been held to 25.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line in the last nine contests. The Broncos rank third in the WCC in 3-point FG defense (29.3 percent).
• Injuries have plagued the Broncos and shrunk the rotation to eight players. Five players have missed games this season, including three currently on the shelf. Two-time All-WCC guard KJ Feagin (foot) and Juan Ducasse (knee) are out for the season. Fallou Ndoye (foot) is out of action indefinitely,
• 76.0 percent (838 of 1,102 points) of the team's offensive production has come from first-year players.
• The Santa Clara winning streak matches its longest in six years. The Broncos won six in a row from Dec. 8-22, 2013.
• Saturday's win over Washington State gave the Broncos a pair of victories over Pac-12 Conference schools in the same season for the first time since 1997-98. Santa Clara also snapped a streak of 11 straight road/neutral site losses to Pac-12/Pac-10 schools. The last victory occurred at Stanford (62-46) on Dec. 16, 2006.
• Wertz has 155 points in the last nine games (15.5 pg) after registering 28 in the first five (5.6 pg) of the season ... Eaddy has hit 38 of his last 42 (90.5 percent) from the free-throw line ... Eaddy and Justice have each scored in double figures during the current six-game winning streak.
|TV||ROOT NW, NBC Bay Area Plus, SPEC SN, KHQ-TV Spokane|
|Video||TheW.tv (out of market)|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Gonzaga|
YEAR THREE UNDER SENDEK...
The Broncos are in their 112th year of existence, including third 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 25th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Guard KJ Feagin, and forwards Henrik Jadersten and Josip Vrankic are the only returning rotational players this season. Feagin, a three-year starter, is a two-time All-West Coast Conference selection who averaged 17.5 points per game (fifth in the league) and 4.0 assists pg (ninth in the league) in 2017-18. Jadersten, a senior, appeared in 84 games his first three years and Vrankic was one of the more productive freshmen in the WCC during 2017-18. Vrankic was third on the team in both scoring (10.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 pg).
• Sophomore guard Tahj Eaddy is eligible this season after sitting out 2017-18. He transferred from Southeast Missouri last summer.
• There are eight additions to the 2018-19 squad, including five true freshmen in Guglielmo Caruso (Naples, Italy), Juan Ducasse (Montevideo, Uruguay), Keshawn Justice (Madison, Wisconsin), Zeke Richards (Oak Park, California) and Trey Wertz (Charlotte, North Carolina). Fallou Ndoye, DJ Mitchell and Josh Martin are transfers. Ndoye (CSU Bakersfield) and Martin (Cal Poly) are graduate transfers. Mitchell played the last two seasons at Wake Forest and will sit out 2018-19.
THE GONZAGA SERIES...
In a series which began in 1946, Gonzaga leads, 61-30. The Bulldogs have won the last 17 meetings. Santa Clara's last victory occurred on Jan. 20, 2011, when the Broncos downed the Bulldogs, 85-71, in Leavey Center.
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) call the action during 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). This season at least 25 games will air on either KDOW-AM 1220 or KTRB-AM 860. The remainder can be heard on Livestream.com. The Gonzaga game can be heard on KTRB-AM 860. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.
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.