Basketball Closes Out Regular Season In Southern California
Santa Clara closes out its regular season schedule this week in Southern California. The Broncos travel to LMU for an 8 pm game on Thurs., Feb. 27. They close out the regular season schedule at 5 pm on Sat., March 1 at Pepperdine.
The LMU game will be shown live on Comcast Bay Area and Time Warner with Ari Wolfe and Jarron Collins making the call. It will also be broadcast live on KDOW 1220 AM and SantaClaraBroncos.com as part of the Bronco Radio Network. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer.
Santa Clara leads the series 84-57 vs. LMU, including its 86-81 overtime victory on Jan. 4. LMU knocked the Broncos out of the WCC Tournament last season with a 60-58 victory. LMU won 82-64 in LA last year on Jan. 10 and SCU returned the favor at home with a 79-56 victory on Feb. 28.
The Broncos are 12-17 and 5-11 in the WCC. Santa Clara defeated Pacific 70-50 Feb. 20 before falling 76-54 vs. Saint Mary's on Feb. 22. LMU is 11-17 and 3-13 in the WCC. The Lions have lost 13 of their last 14 games, including a 72-69 loss at Pepperdine on Feb. 20. Its lone win during the span was a 92-81 victory at Pacific on Jan. 23. Entering Thursday's game, the Broncos are tied for eighth place with Pacific and LMU is in 10th place.
Three Broncos have averaged double figures all season: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark averages 17.0 and Brownridge 16.3. Roquemore adds 10.3 ppg off the bench. In WCC games, Clark averages 17.9, Brownridge 17.6 and Roquemore 10.0. Brownridge, the leading contender for the WCC Newcomer of the Year, has started every game for the Broncos while Clark has started 28 of the team's 29 games this season, coming off the bench on senior day on Feb. 22.
Evan Roquemore is on the cusp of breaking two career school records. Already the assists career record holder, Roquemore needs to log 43 more minutes to break Kevin Foster's career minutes played school record (4,212, 2008-13).
Even more impressive, Roquemore needs to hit three more free throws to break the school record set by Ken Sears. On the cover of Sports Illustrated his senior year, his 470 free throws made career record has stood for 59 years. Sears also holds the record for free throws attempted at 608, also from 1951-55. Roquemore is No. 2 all-time with 582 free throws attempted.
Roquemore enters the LMU game with 572 career assists, a Bronco school record. Roquemore is No. 9 all-time in the WCC, passing Gonzaga's John Stockton (554, 1980-84) vs. Portland on Feb. 1. He needs two assists to pass Portland's Darwin Cook at No. 8 (573, 1976-80) and 18 more assists to move to No. 7, dishing past Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo (589, 2005-09).
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 year Roquemore set the single season assists record with 196, topping John Woolery (190, 1993-94).
Roquemore has collected an assist in 128 of 131 career games. His first three season he had at least one assist in each game. He has been credited with no assists three times this year: at Cal Poly, vs. Gonzaga and at BYU. 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). Jones only had one game his final three years without an assist (USF, 2000). Steve Nash had 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.
He's just the third player in school history to collect 1,500+ points and 500+ assists. The other two: Jones (1,722 pts., 517 asts., 1996-01) and Nash (1,689 pts., 510 asts., 1992-96).
In the Feb. 20 win vs. Pacific Roquemore was credited with four assists, but went without a field goal (0-8) for just the third time in his career - a first during his career in regular season play. Both of his games without field goals came on March 25 oddly enough. He was 0-4 at Purdue on March 25, 2013 and 0-10 at SMU March 25, 2011. Those first two were post-season games on the road.
WCC Career Assist Leaders
1. Orlando Smart, USF 902 1990-94
2. Terrell Lowery, LMU 689 1988-92
3. Matt Santangelo, GON 668 1997-00
4. Carl Ervin, SEA 659 1977-80
5. Blake Stepp, GON 640 2000-04
6. Keith Smith, LMU 594 1982-86
7. Jeremy Pargo, GON 589 2005-09
8. Darwin Cook, POR 573 1976-80
9. Evan Roquemore, SCU 572 2010-14
10. John Stockton, GON 554 1980-84
Last Time vs. LMU
Jared Brownridge scored seven of his 29 points in overtime and Brandon Clark hit 7 of 8 free throws in the extra session lifting the Broncos to an 86-81 win over LMU on Jan. 4. Three times in the final three minutes of regulation SCU took a two-point lead and LMU was able to knot the game on each occasion. Clark hit both ends of a one-and-one for a 68-66 lead at 1:55 but Anthony Ireland responded with a jumper to tie the game again with 1:44 left. Ireland's jumper from the elbow with 12.1 left tied the game at 70-70 following two Clark free throws with 29.2 left. Gabe Levin blocked a potential game-winning shot from Evan Roquemore at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
The Broncos started out quickly in the overtime period, scoring the first seven points. Brownridge sandwiched a three and a layup around a pair of Clark free throws to stake the Broncos to a 77-70 lead halfway through the OT period. The Lions got within two at 82-80 after Ireland converted a 3-point play with 14.3 left, but Clark drained four free throws in the final 14 seconds to get the Broncos the win.
Santa Clara shot 41.3% from the field, including 40% from beyond the arc and 88.9% from the free throw line. Clark led the team with 26 points, hitting 13 of 14 free throws for the game. The 26 points are a career high in the WCC for Clark. Evan Roquemore scored 10 points with five assists. John McArthur grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
LMU shot 49.3% from the field and missed all 7 3-point attempts. The Lions shot 68.4% from the free throw line. Ireland scored 20 of LMU's final 23 points on his way to a 34. He hit 12 of 22 field goal attempts and 10 of 12 free throws in his third career 30-point game. Ben Dickinson added 12 while C.J. Blackwell and Evan Payne each scored 10.
With 978 career points, Brandon Clark is expected to be the next Bronco to reach 1,000 career points when he scores 22 more points. He will be the 32nd Bronco with 1,000 plus points in his career and the seventh under head coach Kerry Keating.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Evan Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 11 with 1,579 career points as he passed Kyle Bailey vs. Saint Mary's (1,571 points, 2001-05). With eight points scored, he will pass No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55).
Last year's Bronco team was the first team in WCC history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
Brandon Clark (493) and Jared Brownridge (473) have combined to score 966 points this season, good enough to be the ninth-best tandem in school history. With 34 more points between the two of them, they will become the ninth tandem in school history to score 1,000 points in a season.
Two other milestones could also made this season. Clark needs to score 10 more points to tie Londale Theus at No. 20 on the single season points scored list (503, 1978-79). Brownridge needs 14 more points to break the Bronco freshman scoring record set by Kevin Foster (486, 2008-09).
If Clark and Browridge both score 500+ points each this season, it will be just the fourth time in school history a pair has scored 500+ points each in a single season; and it will have happened in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. Kevin Foster (732) and Marc Trasolini (587) were the last Bronco duo scored 500+ each in 2012-13. Others include Dennis Awtrey (614) and Ralph Ogden (590) in 1969-70 and Harold Keeling (585) and Nick Vanos (544) in 1983-84.
BRONCO DUOS SCORING 500+ EACH IN A SINGLE SEASON
Players Total Year
Kevin Foster (732) and Marc Trasolini (587) 1,319 2012-13
Dennis Awtrey (614) and Ralph Ogden (590) 1,204 969-70
Harold Keeling (585) and Nick Vanos (544) 1,129 983-84
Prior to this year, Brandon Clark hadn't scored 20+ points in a college or high school game since he scored 29 in an AAU game in eighth grade. Clark is having an All-WCC-type season as he has scored 20+ 13 times this season, including 20+ in eight WCC games. His 13 20+ games are tied for third-most since 2000-01. Tops on the list since 2000-01 - Kevin Foster scored 20+ 20 times in 2012-13.
Jared Brownridge has scored 20+ points 11 times this year - second-best for a Bronco freshman since 1990-91. Foster scored 20+ points 11 times his freshman season. Brownridge has led the Broncos in scoring 11 times this year and has scored double-digits in 22 games.
A strong contender for WCC Newcomer of the Year, Jared Brownridge is on pace to break five Bronco freshman records. The first three freshman school records are for points per game, three point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Those records belong to Kurt Rambis and Steve Nash.
Brownridge averages 16.3 ppg and Rambis averaged 15.3 his freshman year (1976-77). Brownridge hits 41.5 percent of his threes and Nash scored 40.8 percent (1992-93). Nash also scored 82.5 percent of his free throws and Brownridge is making 85.6 percent from the free throw line.
With at least three games left, Brownridge is also on pace to shatter two of Kevin Foster's records from his freshman year (2008-09). Foster scored 486 points and made 85 threes his freshman year. Brownridge, who has scored 473 points and made 78 threes, averages 16.3 ppg and 2.7 threes per game. If he hits his averages in the next four plus games, he would score at least 522 points and make at least 86 threes - both new freshman records.
Brandon Clark leads the Broncos with 17.0 ppg, 3.5 apg and 1.3 spg. If he finishes the season at the top of all three, he would be the first Bronco since Brandon Rohe in 2002-03 to do this (10.6 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg). Clark scored zero points in the season opener vs. Bethesda, but has since scored double figures in 25 of the last 28 games. Clark has scored 20+ in eight WCC games this season. All told, Clark has scored 20+ 13 times this year, including a career-high 32 points vs. N.D. State on Nov. 29. During a four-game span (Nov. 12-29), he scored 21+ points in each game; and he was the fourth Bronco player since 2007-08 to accomplish this feat. Scoring 30 points vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 18, he was the 13th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games in a single season.
Clark has scored almost 1/4 of his points at the free throw line this year, hitting 85.6 percent (119 of 139). Clark scored a WCC career-high with 26 points vs. LMU on Jan. 4 (career high is 32 vs. North Dakota State on Nov. 29). Half of Clark's points vs. the Lions came at the free throw line, as the East Chicago, Ind. native went 13 of 14 from the free throw line.