SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After a West Coast Conference road split last week, Santa Clara men's basketball continues a three-game homestand on Saturday with the final matchup of the season against Pacific.
Tipoff between the Broncos and Tigers is set for 6 p.m. in Leavey Center.
The Broncos (13-13, 5-7) opened the final home stretch of the season on Thursday with a 66-55 loss to Saint Mary's, which snapped its three-game road losing streak behind 23 points from Jordan Ford, the leading scorer in the WCC. Tahj Eaddy scored 13 points and Trey Wertz chipped in 11 for the Broncos who limited the Gaels, the top 3-point shooting team in the conference, to just 26-percent shooting from behind the arc, but committed 14 turnovers.
Santa Clara is 9-6 at home, including 3-3 in West Coast Conference play, this season and Pacific is 4-9 on the road, including 1-5 against league foes.
The Broncos are tied for sixth in the WCC standings and the Tigers (13-13, 3-8) are ninth.
Santa Clara closes out its regular-season home slate on Saturday, Feb. 23 against San Francisco.
• Tahj Eaddy (14.5 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.3 points and 6.5 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Trey Wertz (12.4 ppg) and Keshawn Justice (10.4) are the top freshmen scorers in the West Coast Conference. Wertz is also sixth overall in assists (4.5 pg). Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 8.2 per contest (tied for third in the WCC) and the third-most efficient 3-point shooter (41.9 percent) in the league.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 12-8 with a roster that receives 74.9 percent (1,341 of 1,790 points) of its offensive production from first-year players.
• Injuries have plagued the Broncos and shrunk the rotation to eight players. Five players have missed games this season. Two-time All-WCC guard KJ Feagin (foot) and Juan Ducasse (knee) are out for the season. Fallou Ndoye (foot) returned to action on Saturday against San Francisco after missing 19 games.
• Santa Clara ranks in the middle of the pack in the WCC in a number of statistical categories. However, the Broncos are third in blocked shots (3.5 pg), but 10th in both turnover margin (-3.4 pg) and steals (4.5 pg). They have improved holding on to the ball. Santa Clara averaged 14.7 turnovers in the first 17 games and that mark has dropped to 13.2 in the most recent nine. The Broncos have been improving at the free-throw line. They rank eighth in the league, but after shooting 68.8 percent in the first 18 games, they are hitting at a 75.2 percent clip in the last eight.
• Pacific is second in the WCC in free-throw percentage (75.8) and have the second-most attempts (587), but it is 10th in both field-goal percentage defense (46.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8-to-1).
• Guglielmo Caruso has averaged 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in the last four games ... after scoring a combined 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field in the previous two games, Eaddy scored 13 on 5 of 11 FGs in Thursday's Saint Mary's game.
• 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.
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Pacific|
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).
THE PACIFIC SERIES...
The Broncos have a 97-45 edge in a series that dates to 1905. This is the sixth season the Tigers have been a member of the West Coast Conference, with the Broncos leading 8-4 in that span. But the teams have faced each other every season since 1994-95. The 142 games played are the fifth-most among Santa Clara opponents. Santa Clara and Pacific have spolit the last four games in Leavey Center.
• In two games last week, Josip Vrankic averaged 25.0 points (on 67 percent shooting), 12.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals ... Trey Wertz is averaging 14.4 points on 47.9 percent shooting from the floor (45 of 94), including hitting 16 of 34 3-pointers (47.1 percent), in the last nine games ... Josip Vrankic has four of his five double-doubles this season in the last 10 games ... Tahj Eaddy has hit 56 of his last 66 (84.8 percent) from the free-throw line, including 4 of 5 in the final 19 seconds in the victory vs. Pepperdine (Jan. 10) and all 12 attempts in the win over San Diego (Jan. 3).
• Santa Clara has been on the wrong side of the turnover differential in all but six games - San Jose State (Nov. 24), Idaho (Dec. 21), San Diego (Jan. 3), Pacific (Jan. 19), Portland (Feb. 2) and Pepperdine (Feb. 7).
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 missed the next 19 games. 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 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. Saturday's game against Pacific can be heard on KTRB-AM 860. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.
Single-game options are available for the two remaining contests. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Doors to Leavey Center open one hour prior to tipoff.
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 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.