Men's Basketball Opens Three-Game Homestand Thursday, Faces Nationally-Ranked Gonzaga

Student section in Leavey Center.
Student section in Leavey Center.

VIDEO: Men's Basketball Talks Pacific Win, Previews Gonzaga

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball kicks off a three-game homestand on Thursday with a matchup against nationally-ranked Gonzaga.

Tipoff between between the Broncos and No. 4/4-ranked Bulldogs (18-2, 5-0) is set for 8 p.m. in Leavey Center.

The Broncos (11-9, 3-3) have won eight of their last nine, including six in a row, at home, but the Bulldogs come to town having been victorious in nine consecutive outings. Santa Clara is coming off a thrilling road win. Tahj Eaddy posted 18 points, including 13 in the second half, and Josip Vrankic had a double-double (14 points/10 rebounds) to help the Broncos rally from a 12-point deficit to claim a 69-57 victory over Pacific on Saturday.

The Bulldogs, who defeated the Broncos 91-48 earlier this month, lead the West Coast Conference standings.

Tahj Eaddy (16.3 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Vrankic also ranks fifth in the WCC in blocked shots (1.2 pg). Trey Wertz (12.2 ppg) and Keshawn Justice (10.7) are top freshmen scorers in the WCC. Wertz is also fifth overall in assists (5.0 pg). Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 8.3 per contest (No. 3 in the WCC) and is the second-most efficient 3-point shooter (44.9 percent) in the league.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 10-4 with a roster that receives 75.5 percent (1,068 of 1,415 points) of its offensive production from first-year players. The team is shooting 48.1 percent from the floor in the last 14 games after hitting only 41.2 in the first six. Field-goal percentage defense is also down in that stretch (44.1 to 42.0), but the biggest improvement is at the 3-point line where the opposition is being held to 29.6 percent in the most recent 14 contests, compared to 34.9 in the opening six. Santa Clara limits long-range attempts. The Broncos are No. 24 in the nation in percentage (32.5) 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.
• The Bulldogs lead the WCC in most statistical categories and are first in the nation in both field-goal percentage (52.4) and scoring margin (+23.4 pg). The Broncos are in the middle of the pack in a number of categories. They are third in blocked shots (3.7 pg), but 10th in turnover margin (-3.1).
• 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.. 


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TV SWX (Eastern Wash.) / NBC California / ROOT NW
Video (out of market only)
Radio/Audio KDOW-AM 1220
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Game Notes Santa Clara | Gonzaga


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).

In a series which began in 1946, Gonzaga leads, 62-30. The Bulldogs have won 27 of the last 28, including 18 straight, meetings. Santa Clara's last victory occurred on Jan. 20, 2011, when the Broncos downed the Bulldogs, 85-71, in Leavey Center. Gonzaga's winning streak is seven in a row in Leavey Center.

Six players, including five current ones, have suffered injuries. Juan Ducasse will miss 2018-19 after having knee surgery in August. Matt Hauser, who would have been a senior, decided not to play this season due to a foot injury. Henrik Jadersten suffered a stress fracture in his foot in the preseason and did not return until the second game of the season. KJ Feagin has suffered two injuries with the second one knocking him out for the year. He suffered a broken bone in his left hand against UC Irvine (Nov. 15) and was ruled out indefinitely. On Dec. 28, Feagin had season-ending surgery on his right foot. Fallou Ndoye suffered a torn tendon in his foot against San Jose State (Nov. 24) and is out indefinitely. Ezekiel Richards (ankle) missed the USC game, but returned vs. Idaho (Dec. 21).

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 Thursday's game against Gonzaga 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 games. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or Doors to Leavey Center normally open one hour prior to tipoff. However, they will open at 6:30 p.m. for Thursday's Gonazaga game.

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.

The second annual Bronco Bash will be held prior to the game. Join fellow Bronco fans from 6 to 8 p.m. in Locatelli Event Center. Enjoy camaraderie, craft beer, appetizers and games to get ready for the matchup against the Zags. Admission is $30 per person and please note this event is 21-and-over. Click here to register.

Thursday will be a Red Out in Leavey Center. The first 2,000 fans will receive a t-shirt courtesy of University Credit Union. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to wear it so Leavey Center is a sea of RED!

Parking is $10 in the main campus parking structure, which is located on Palm Drive through the main campus 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.

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