In the first two games of the 13th annual Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, to be hosted at the Leavey Center, Santa Clara will welcome Radford on Mon., Dec. 16 at 7 pm and then finish with Sacred Heart on Wed., Dec. 18 at 8:15 pm as part of a doubleheader. The Bronco women open the doubleheader with UC Davis at 6 pm. It is the fourth doubleheader the Broncos have been a part of this year.
The Broncos are meeting Radford and Sacred Heart for the first time in school history. Radford, who plays in the Big South Conference, is 6-2 this season. The Highlanders are 2-2 on the road this year and are playing in California for just the third time in school history (0-1 at Saint Mary's and 0-1 at UC Davis).
John McArthur will not play vs. Radford after missing the last three games due to an injury suffered in practice on Dec. 4.
Santa Clara is 4-5 this season. The Broncos defeated off La Sierra 97-61 on Dec. 14 in their first game in a week due to final exams. Jared Brownridge led the Broncos with 24 points, including a Bronco freshman-record seven three pointers (7 of 14). He also added seven assists, a steal and a block. Both coming off the bench, Denzel Johnson collected 14 points and Julian Clarke scored a career-high 13.
The Radord-Santa Clara game will be broadcast live on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. The game will be live streamed and can be found on SantaClaraBroncos.com.
After hosting week-night games with Radford and Sacred Heart, the Broncos will travel to Las Vegas to play UNLV at 7:30 pm on Dec. 22 in the Orleans Arena, the same site as the WCC Championship in March, as part of the 13th annual Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. The Broncos will play either Mississippi State or South Florida the next night. If the Broncos win, they will play at 7:30 pm. on Dec. 23. If they lose, they will play in the 5 pm game the same night. Both games on Dec. 23 will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
The Classic field also includes Florida Golf Coast and Florida A &M.
The Broncos have three players averaging double figures: Brandon Clark leads SCU with 15.8 ppg, Jared Brownridge adds 15.1 ppg and Evan Roquemore 11.2. Roquemore leads the team with 3.8 apg. Clark is second with 3.7 apg and he scored 21+ points in four straight games (San Jose St. - North Dakota St.). He has helped his scoring average by making 36 of 43 free throws.
Entering the Radford game on Dec. 16, the Broncos are No. 5 nationally in turnovers per game (9.2) and No. 9 in fewest turnovers (83.0). They also lead the league and are No. 12 nationally in turnover margin (4.8) and No. 44 nationally in threes made per game (8.0).
Brandon Clark is No. 9 in scoring in the league. Jared Brownridge is the top freshman three-point shooter (3.2), only second behind Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos (3.4). Brownridge leads the league in assist-turnover margin and Yannick Atanga is No. 7 in blocked shots (1.2).
Jared Brownridge proved there was not rust in his game after finals on Dec. 14 vs. La Sierra when he collected seven three pointers on a night where he shot 8 of 15 from the field with a game-high seven assists. The seven threes by Brownridge broke the Bronco freshman record set by Steve Nash back in 1993 (6 vs. CS Stanislaus, 1-5-93). Brandon Rohe (6, vs. Mississippi State Valley, 12-27-02) and Calvin Johnson (6, vs. Cal Poly, 12-10-05) also matched the record their rookie year. It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Kevin Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
Brownridge has collected 5+ threes in his first nine games as a freshman. Foster accomplished this feat three times in his 33-game rookie season (5 vs. Arizona, Nov. 25, 2008; at Saint Mary's, Jan. 9, 2009; and at LMU, Feb. 14, 2009). All told, Foster scored seven threes twice, eight threes twice and nine threes once (the school record for a single game).
Entering Monday night's game, Brownridge is No. 22 in the country with 3.22 threes per game and No. 11 in assist to turnover ratio (3.88). He leads the team in threes made (29), threes attempted (65) and three-point percentage (44.6%). He needs three more threes made to jump into the Bronco freshman top 10 (No. 10, 32, Brandon Clark, 2011-12). The school record was set by Kevin Foster in 2008-09 when he crushed 85.
Evan Roquemore needs just two more assists to break the school record set by Brian Jones in 2001 (517, 1996-01). After missing an assist for the first time in his career at Cal Poly (111 games), Roquemore dished out six vs. La Sierra. Roquemore is just the third player in school history to score 1,300+ points and collect 500+ assists. The other two were Brian Jones (1,722 points, 517 assists, 1996-01) and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (1,689 points, 510 assists, 1992-96). Nash was named the WCC Player of the Year in 1995 and '96 and Jones was a three-time All-WCC First Team honoree.
Looking back, Jones missed an assist in just three games in his career: Dec. 21, 1996 at Pacific, Jan. 22, 1997 at USF; and March 4, 2000 vs. USF. He only had one game his final three years without an assist (the USF game in 2000). Nash collected eight games his freshman year with no assists, but the final three years of his career he had at least one assist in every game he played in.
Jerry Brown, who leads the team with 6.8 rpg, has started the last five games and his production has increased. He is averaging 7.4 rpg and 8.8 ppg in the five-game span. Brown scored his third career double-double and his first for the Broncos with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over San Jose State. Marc Trasolini was the last Bronco to record a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds vs. Portland on Jan. 31, 2013.
Brown started his 100th career game on Nov. 30 and played at Fresno State prior to graduating last spring and coming to Santa Clara for his fifth season, a redshirt year. He is working on a Master's degree in Psychology.
Evan Roquemore has a chance to break five Bronco career records this year. Entering the Radford game, he is No. 2 in assists, No. 3 in free throws made and No. 6 in minutes played. He is also on pace to break the records for games started (96) and games played (112). The games started career record was set last year by Kevin Foster (125) and the games played record was broken last year by Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini (137).
With 425 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 46 free throws to break the school record of 470 set by Ken Sears in 1951-55. He is No. 7 all-time in free throw percentage at .800.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore has started the past five games and is averaging 11.2 ppg this year. Roquemore sits at No. 16 with 1,383 career points. He needs to score 204 points to move past No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55) and 11 points to pass No. 15 Mike Gervasoni (1,393, 1964-67).
Last year's Bronco team was the first team in West Coast Conference history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had seniors Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
Roquemore is No. 10 in career starts (96) and is tied with Kyle Bailey (96, 2001-05) and Harold Keeling (96, 1981-85). He needs to play in five more games to jump in to the top 10. He is No. 6 in career minutes played and Foster also holds the record for minutes played with 4,212.
Freshman-redshirt Nate Kratch has continued to play well since being inserted into the starting line-up three games ago to replace an injured John McArthur. In the win at CSUB, he scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds and two steals. He was a career-best 4 of 6 from the field, including a career-best 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. He scored 11 points with seven rebounds and added a career-high four blocked shots at Cal Poly. On Saturday he added seven points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Kratch made his first three on his first attempt in his first game for the Broncos. It should come as no surprise as Kratch comes from an athletic family! His dad, Bob, played football at Iowa and later won a Super Bowl ring with the NY Giants in 1991. His mother Kristi was a high jumper at Iowa and cleared a personal best of 5'11. His older brother Colby played tight end at Toledo University and is now a graduate assistant for the Rockets. His younger sister MacKenzie, 18, strives to be a Division I hockey player next year.
The athleticism doesn't end there for Kratch. His maternal grandmother played professional basketball for the Redheads and was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in New York City at Madison Square Garden last year. She once scored 70 points in a high school game, something she has reminded Nate of a few times during his high school career. And finally, his paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College
Yannick Atanga is climbing up some records charts himself as he is No. 6 with 73 career blocks. He needs 21 blocks to pass No. 5 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). Robert Garrett is No. 8 with 68 career blocks. Atanga has 11 blocks this year to lead the team. Nate Kratch is also making a bid for the team's top shot blocker as he has 10, including four at Cal Poly on Dec. 7.