Santa Clara returns home to host Pepperdine Thursday In WCC Home Opener
Santa Clara returns home this week to host Pepperdine on Thurs., Jan. 2 at 7 pm and LMU on Sat., Jan. 4 at 3 pm. The Pepperdine game will be broadcast live on TheW.tv and the LMU game will be featured as the Comast WCC Game of the Week.
Santa Clara is 8-7 this season, including 1-1 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara won 76-68 on Dec. 30 at Portland in their last time out. Santa Clara's three guards, Evan Roquemore, Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge, scored 20 points each, including each hitting 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the win over the Pilots. While a number of Bronco teams have featured 20+ points from two Bronco players in a single game, no trio has scored 20+ points in a single game dating back to 1991-92 (further research is being done). And no guard trio is believed to have scored 20+ points each in a single game in school history.
This season the Broncos lead the WCC in assist-turnover ratio at +2.73. With the five Bronco seniors graduating in June of 2013, they took with them 13,455 minutes played, 6,188 points scored, 2,149 rebounds, 705 assists and 492 steals.
Pepperdine is 9-5 and 2-0 in WCC play after sweeping its opening weekend at home vs. BYU and San Diego. Malcolm Brooks was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week this week after averaging 22.0 ppg in wins over San Diego (Dec. 28, 75-64) and BYU (Dec. 30, 80-74). The Waves are 2-0 in WCC play for the first time since 2009-10 when they started 3-0 that year.
The Pepperdine-Santa Clara game will be broadcast on TheW.tv network with Rick Celleni and John Stege making the call. Amanda Blackwell will act as the sideline reporter. It will also be broadcast live as part of the Bronco Radio Network on SantaClaraBroncos.com. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
Us vs. Them
Santa Clara leads the series 70-56 vs. Pepperdine, including 41-20 at home. The Broncos swept the season series last year after the Waves did the same in 2011-12. Santa Clara has won seven of the last eight games in the Leavey Center.
The Broncos have three players averaging double figures: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark leads the team with 16.5 ppg, which is No. 7 in the WCC. He is second on the team with 3.67 apg. During a four-game span this season (Nov. 12-29), Clark scored 21+ points in each game; and he was the fourth Bronco player since 2007-08 to accomplish this feat. Prior to this season he hadn't scored 20 points in a single game. This season he has scored 20+ seven times, including a career-high 32 points vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29. Scoring 30 points vs. Sacred Heart, he is the 13th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games in a single season. Leading the team at the free throw line, he has helped his scoring average by making 63 of 76 free throws (82.9 percent).
Brownridge is second with 14.9 ppg as the No. 2 scoring freshman in the West Coast Conference. Brownridge leads the Broncos in threes made (42) and attempted (92), shooting 45.7 percent. He is averaging 2.8 threes per game, which is No. 3 in the WCC. He broke Steve Nash's freshman school record vs. La Sierra when he knocked down seven threes. He is already No. 8 on the Bronco freshman list with 42 makes and needs eight threes to pass Nash at No. 5 (49, 1992-93). The freshman school record was set by Kevin Foster in 2008-09 when he crushed 85.
Roquemore scores 12.0 ppg and leads the team with 4.0 apg. Already the school record holder for a single season with assists (2012-13), he now owns the career school record for assists with 541. His 20 points and five three pointers were a season-high at Portland.
Jerry Brown, a graduate transfer from Fresno State, leads the team with 6.5 rpg and is fourth with 8.5 ppg. He scored the Broncos lone double-double this season (16 pts., 10 reb., Nov. 12, 2013). Brown is working on a Master's in Communication as he redshirted his sophomore year at Fresno. He came off the bench the first four games this season and has started the last 11 contests. He has scored 671 career points with 453 rebounds, including 128 points and 98 rebounds with the Broncos.
Evan Roquemore enters the Pepperdine game with 541 career assists, a Bronco school record, and that total is No. 10 all-time on the WCC list. He needs 14 assists to pass former Zag John Stockton at No. 9 on the WCC list (554, 1980-84). Roquemore broke the Bronco career assists record vs. Radford on Dec. 16 with a dandy dish to Jared Brownridge in the first half, topping Brian Jones (517, 1996-2001). Last season Roquemore set the single season assists record with 196, topping John Woolery (190, 1993-94).
Roquemore is just the third player in school history to score 1,400+ 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.
Roquemore has scored an assist in 117 of 118 career games. Looking back, Jones missed an assist in just three games (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 (USF, 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 during his Bronco career.
Since missing four games with an injury, John McArthur has started three of the past five games, including the last three. He has scored 25 points and 25 rebounds in those five games. He tied a career-high with 12 rebounds vs. Sacred Heart and added a season-high nine points vs. South Florida. He tallied his 301st career rebound with two at Portland.
After making no threes last season, he has already collected three this season (3 of 10). He was 0-1 his sophomore year and 1 of 5 his freshman year. His three at Notre Dame on Nov. 22 was his first three since he hit one at Gonzaga Feb. 17, 2011. It stands as the lone three he has made in WCC play during his career.
Already the school record holder in both career and single season assists, Evan Roquemore has a chance to break four more Bronco career records this year. Entering the Pepperdine game, he is No. 3 in free throws (441) made and No. 4 in minutes played (3,777). He started his 100th career game vs. South Florida and is on pace to break that record and also the games played record (118). The games started career record was set last year by Kevin Foster (125) along with the minutes played record (4,212). The games played record was broken last year by Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini (137).
With 441 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 30 to break the school record of 470 set by Ken Sears in 1951-55.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 12 with 1,460 career points. He needs 112 points to pass No. 11 Kyle Bailey (1,571, 2001-05) and with 127 points he will pass No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55).
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).
Jared Brownridge has started all 15 games this season and he appears to have stepped nicely into the two spot vacated by all-time leading scorer Kevin Foster. Brownridge has scored 20+ points in six games in his 15-game college career thus far, including eight games with 3+ threes made and 11 double figure games. Much of his scoring has been beyond the arc as Brownridge has collected 5+ threes three times. 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).
In the final non-conference game vs. South Florida on Dec. 23, Santa Clara went on a 13-3 run as Brownridge hit a three with 53.8 seconds left to give SCU a one-point lead and then iced it with a pair of free throws with 10.8 ticks left to lead the Broncos to a 66-65 victory. He also scored eight straight Bronco points late in the second half of the Portland win on Dec. 30 to help seal the victory.
Brownridge collected seven three pointers on a night where he shot 8 of 15 from the field with a game-high seven assists in the win vs. La Sierra on Dec. 14 (7 of 14 from three). 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). It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
Through his first three collegiate basketball games, Brownridge was in elite company at SCU. Only three players since the 1999-2000 season have scored more points in the first three games of the season and Brownridge is the only first-year player among them. In his junior year John Bryant collected 75 points in three games at the outset of the 2007-08 season and Travis Niesen tallied 68 points during the first three games of his 2005-06 senior campaign. Foster went for 65 in the first three games last season. Foster also scored 62 points in 2009 but it took him four team games after he missed the third contest of the season.