SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball will look to build off a pair of home wins when it hits the road for the final two West Coast Conference regular season games.
On Thursday, the Broncos (15-13, 7-7) will play Loyola Marymount in its final home contest. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.
The Lions (18-10, 6-8) defeated Santa Clara, 69-61, last month in Leavey Center.
The Broncos won their final home game on Saturday in thrilling fashion. Josip Vrankic posted a game-high 20 points and Tahj Eaddy added 16, to lead Santa Clara to a 68-65 victory over rival San Francisco. The Broncos scored the last five points and held the Dons scoreless for the final 3:23 in a game that featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes.
Santa Clara and LMU are fighting for position in next week's WCC Tournament. The Broncos are fifth and the Lions tied for sixth with San Diego in the WCC standings. Santa Clara is 4-5 on the road, including 2-4 in conference play, this season and LMU is 10-4 at home, including 3-4 against league foes.
• Tahj Eaddy (15.0 ppg) is first among four Santa Clara players scoring in double figures. Josip Vrankic is averaging 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds (second on the team) per game. Trey Wertz (12.3 ppg) and Keshawn Justice (10.5) 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 8.4 per contest (No. 3 in the WCC) and the second-most efficient 3-point shooter (42.4 percent) in the league.
• After a 1-5 start, the Broncos have gone 12-6 with a roster that receives 75.2 percent (1,250 of 1,663 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, 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) has been out of action since November, but close to a return.
• Santa Clara ranks in the middle of the pack in the WCC in most statistical categories. However, the Broncos are third in blocked shots (3.6 pg), but 10th in both turnover margin (-3.3 pg) and steals (4.6 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 12.6 in the most recent seven.
• San Francisco is stingy on the defensive end. The Dons rank second in the WCC in both scoring defense (65.0 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (41.8)
• Caruso has averaged 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in the last two games ... the Broncos have shot a combined 49 percent from the floor in the second half of the last two games, both victories ... Vrankic is averaging 11.0 points (59 percent from the floor) and 5.5 rebounds in the second half of the last two contests.
• 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.
|TV||Spectrum SportsNet, NBC Sports California Plus|
|Video||TheW.tv (out of market)|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Loyola Marymount|
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 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT SERIES...
In a series that began in 1937, Santa Clara holds a 91-61 lead. The Broncos have won six of the last 10. The teams have split the regular-season series in five of the last six years, including in 2017-18 when each won on the road. Santa Clara will try and duplicate that after dropping the first decision of the year. The Broncos have won four of the last five meetings at LMU.
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) are 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 LMU game can be heard on KDOW-AM 1220. Click here to view broadcast outlets for the season.