Men's Basketball Heads to Saint Mary's on Thursday

Men's Basketball Heads to Saint Mary's on Thursday

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball continues its stretch of three straight road games with a meeting against Saint Mary's.

The longtime rivals will face off on Thursday at 8 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.

The Broncos (10-8, 2-2), who have won seven of their last nine, fell at BYU on Saturday. Yoeli Childs scored a game-high 27 and TJ Haws recorded 16 points, including a clutch 3-pointer in the final 2 minutes, to help the Cougars outlast the Broncos, 80-74, who got 20 points from Trey Wertz and a career-high 17 points by Keshawn Justice.

The Gaels (11-7, 2-1) are 8-2 at home, including wins in the last six. Santa Clara is 2-3 on the road.

The Broncos will play at Pacific on Saturday and then have three in a row at home.

Tahj Eaddy (16.6 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.6 points and 6.1 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Vrankic also ranks fifth in the WCC in blocked shots (1.2 pg). Trey Wertz (11.8) ranks first on the league freshman scoring list and fifth overall in assists (5.1 pg). Keshawn Justice, another freshman, is scoring at a 10.5 point-per-game clip. Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 9.0 per contest (No. 2 in the WCC) and is the most efficient 3-point shooter (46.8 percent) in the league.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 9-3 with a roster that receives 75.4 percent (973 of 1,291 points) of its offensive production from first-year players. They are shooting 48.1 percent from the floor in the last 12 games after hitting only 41.2 in the first six. Field-goal percentage defense is also down in that stretch (44.1 to 41.6), but the biggest improvement is at the 3-point line where the opposition is being held to 29.3 percent in the most recent 12 contests, compared to 34.9 in the opening six. Santa Clara limits long-range attempts. The Broncos are No. 17 in the nation in percentage (31.6) of 3-point tries to total field goal attempts, according to
• 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,
• Santa Clara's recent six-game winning streak (Dec. 9-Jan. 3) was its longest in six years. The Broncos won six in a row from Dec. 8-22, 2013.
• The win over Washington State on Dec. 29, 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.
• Eaddy ranks third in the WCC in scoring (19.5 ppg) during league games ... Eaddy has hit 47 of his last 54 (87.0 percent) from the free-throw line, including 4 of 5 in the final 19 seconds of Thursday's Pepperdine game and all 12 attempts in the win over San Diego (Jan. 3) ... Justice has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games ... Vrankic has posted back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 19.0 points (on 61 percent shooting from the floor) and 10.5 rebounds in those outings. 


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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 were 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.

Santa Clara and Saint Mary's are longtime rivals and original West Coast Conference members. The series began in 1910 and the teams will be playing for the 225th time, the most common opponent in Santa Clara history. The Broncos lead the series 135-89, but the Gaels have won eight of the last 10 meetings, including the last six. Saint Mary's has won eight of the last nine at home, including the most recent four.

Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) call the action during the season on radio and through at home. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform or BYUtv) will also be streamed through (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 The Saint Mary's game can be heard on KDOW-AM 1220. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.

Single-game and gameplan options are available for remaining home games. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or

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 for further details.

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