SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After splitting a pair West Coast Conference home games last week, Santa Clara men's basketball will serve as host for the final time this season on Saturday.
Both teams are fighting for positioning in next month's WCC Tournament. The Dons (21-6, 9-4) are tied for third with Saint Mary's and the Broncos are tied for fifth with San Diego in fifth in the league standings. The WCC tournament begins March 7 in Las Vegas.
On Saturday, Josip Vrankic posted 18 points and Guglielmo Caruso scored 15 for Santa Clara, which hung on for a 64-59 win over Pacific. The Broncos built a 20-point halftime lead behind 10 3-pointers, but saw that advantage whittled to three points twice in the final 2 minutes.
Santa Clara is 10-6 at home, including 4-3 in conference play, this season and San Francisco is 6-4 on the road, including 4-3 against league foes.
• Tahj Eaddy (14.4 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Trey Wertz (12.1 ppg) and Keshawn Justice (10.4) are the top freshmen scorers in the West Coast Conference. Wertz is also sixth overall in assists (4.7 pg). Josh Martin is the leading rebounder at 8.3 per contest (fourth in the WCC) and the top 3-point shooter (41.3 percent) on the team.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 13-8 with a roster that receives 74.6 percent (1,383 of 1,854 points) of its offensive production from first-year players.
• Injuries have plagued the Broncos and shrunk the rotation to nine players (only eight for 19 games). Two-time All-WCC guard KJ Feagin (foot) and Juan Ducasse (knee) are out for the season. Fallou Ndoye (foot) returned to action against San Francisco (Feb. 9) after missing 19 games.
• Prior to tipoff vs. San Francisco, the Broncos will recognize five players - Henrik Jadersten, Martin, Ndoye, Johnny Sawyer and Luke Martin-Resnick - making their final home appearances.
• 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 (3.6 pg), but 10th in both turnover margin (-3.5 pg) and steals (4.4 pg). The Broncos have been improving at the free-throw line. They rank eighth in the league (70.5), but after shooting 68.8 percent in the first 18 games, they are hitting at a 74.3 percent clip in the last nine.
• San Francisco is stingy on the defensive end. The Dons rank third in the WCC in both scoring defense (65.3 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (42.1), and second in 3-point FG percentage defense (30.6).
|TV||NBC Sports California, ROOT Sports NW, AT&T SportsNet RM|
|Video||TheW.tv (out of market)|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | San Francisco|
YEAR THREE UNDER SENDEK...
The Broncos are in their 112th year, 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 seasåon as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio). Sendek will make his 800th appearance as a head coach vs. USF.
THE SAN FRANCISCO SERIES...
The series began in 1908 and the Broncos hold a 115-109 lead. The 224 meetings are the second-most of any Santa Clara opponent (226 vs. Saint Mary's). The teams have split the last six meetings, including last season when each won on the road. The Broncos won two of three meetings in 2016-17, including a 76-69 victory in the WCC Tournament, which sent Santa Clara to the league semifinals for the first time since 2011.
Six players, including five current ones, have suffered injuries. Juan Ducasse is out this year after having knee surgery in August. Matt Hauser, who would have been a senior, did 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 suffered two injuries with the second one knocking him out for the year. He broke 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).
VIDEO | Final home appearance for Henrik Jadersten (@hjadersten), Josh Martin (@iamJawshMartin), Fallou Ndoye (@FallouNdoye), Johnny Sawyer (@AyeeeeeeeeJRock) & Luke Martin-Resnick (@IamLukeMR14) on Saturday. Rival @WCChoops matchup on tap vs. @USFDonsMBB at 8 pm. #StampedeAhead pic.twitter.com/sghCbWSvQj— Santa Clara Men's Basketball (@SantaClaraHoops) February 22, 2019
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 San Francisco can be heard on KDOW-AM 1220. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.
Click here to purchase tickets for the San Francisco game. Use promo code 'HOOPS19' to unlock special pricing for the final home game of the season. 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.
Final home game on Saturday ➡️use promo code 'HOOPS19' to unlock special ticket pricing for the #SeniorNight matchup against @USFDonsMBB ➡️ 8 p.m. tip in Leavey Center. https://t.co/8PxQP1T431 #StampedeAhead #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/EB1zM1UxEA— Santa Clara Men's Basketball (@SantaClaraHoops) February 21, 2019
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.