With Santa Clara's opening round 81-64 victory vs. Pacific on Thursday, the Broncos now advance to play Gonzaga in the quarterfinals of the WCC Championship on Sat., March 8 at 6 pm. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham making the call. The Gonzaga game will 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.
The Broncos are 14-18 and Gonzaga is 25-6. Jared Brownridge led the Broncos with 20 points in the Thursday night win over Pacific. Three other Broncos added double figures: Evan Roquemore (17), Jerry Brown (12) and Brandon Clark (15); Brown led the team with eight boards.
This will be the 83rd all-time meeting between Santa Clara and Gonzaga with the Bulldogs holding a 50-32 record. They are riding a seven-game series win streak and won both games this season. SCU's last win over the Zags came on Jan. 20, 2011 with an 85-71 decision in the Leavey Center. That win broke a 10-game home losing skid to Gonzaga.
Three Broncos have averaged double figures all season: Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore. Clark and Brownridge both score 17.0 ppg and Roquemore adds 10.7 ppg off the bench. In WCC games, Brownridge averaged 18.4 and Clark 17.9. Brownridge's 91 threes made are No. 3 among freshman nationally this year.
Brownridge was named the Crons WCC Newcomer of the Year on Monday and is No. 2 on the Bay Area's all-time freshman points scored list. He was also named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team with Clark as well as the WCC All-Freshman team. Brownridge, who led the league in threes and finished second in points, has started every game for the Broncos while Clark has started 31 of the team's 32 games this season, coming off the bench on Senior Day on Feb. 22.
Last Time We Played
In front of a sold-out crowd at the Leavey Center, down 10 with five minutes left, the Broncos rallied back to take a one-point lead on a floater by Brandon Clark with 28.6 seconds left after a huge three by Evan Roquemore at 1:23, but No. 24 Gonzaga's Sam Dower hit a three from the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left to dash Santa Clara's upset hopes and give Gonzaga the 54-52 win.
Santa Clara shot 36 percent from the field, including 27.8 percent beyond the arc. The Broncos collected 33 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks and had 13 turnovers. They shot 91.7 percent from the free throw line.
Evan Roquemore led the Broncos with a game-high tying 15 points making 4 of 6 threes. Brandon Clark added 12 with five rebounds and Jared Brownridge was held to six. Yannick Atanga led the Broncos with seven rebounds.
Gonzaga shot 34.8 percent from the field, including 41.7 percent beyond the arc (5 of 12). The Zags collected 32 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals, 5 blocks and had 13 turnovers. They shot 89.5 percent from the free throw line (17 of 19).
Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points, Sam Dower had 13, including the game-winning three on his only attempt, and Premek Karnowski add 11 points and eight rebounds.
543 X 2
With one playing 1,072 minutes this season, Jared Brownridge, and the other clocking 1,029 minutes, Brandon Clark, they have each scored 543 points this season during the Broncos' 32-game season thus far. The duo has combined to score 1,086 points this year, good enough to be the fifth-best tandem in school history. It is just the fourth time in school history a pair has scored 500+ points each in a single season; and it happened in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. Kevin Foster (732) and Marc Trasolini (587) each scored 500+ each in 2012-13.
Brownridge has scored 20+ points 13 times this year - tops for a Bronco freshman since 1990-91. Brownridge has led the Broncos in scoring 13 times this year and has scored double-digits in 25 games.
Prior to this year, 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 has scored 20+ 13 times this year, 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 - Foster scored 20+ 20 times in 2012-13. Clark has scored 10+ in 22 straight games this year - one of the top streaks in school history.
Clark became the 32nd Bronco with 1,000 plus points in his career and the seventh under head coach Kerry Keating when he scored 18 at Pepperdine. Clark is No. 30 in career points (1,028), No. 9 in three point percentage (37.5) and No. 4 in free throw percentage (83.0).
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Evan Roquemore missed the first four games with a back injury. Roquemore sits at No. 10 with 1,615 career points. He needs 29 points to pass No. 9 Londale Theus (1,643, 1976-80). 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).
Roq: History In the Making!
Already the school record holder for career assists and free throws made, Evan Roquemore broke the school record for career minutes vs. Pacific on March 6 in the first half. He topped Kevin Foster and has now played 4,237 career minutes. Roquemore broke the school record for career free throws in the second half at LMU on Feb. 27 with his 7 of 10 performance. .
Roquemore enters the Gonzaga game with 578 career assists, a Bronco school record. Roquemore is No. 8 all-time in the WCC, passing Gonzaga's then-No. 9 John Stockton (554, 1980-84) vs. Portland on Feb. 1 and then-No. 8 Portland's Darwin Cook at No. 8 (573, 1976-80) on Feb. 27. He needs 12 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 130 of 134 career games. His first three seasons he had at least one assist in each game. He has been credited with no assists four times this year: at Cal Poly, vs. Gonzaga, at BYU and vs. Pacific. 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.
Roquemore is just the third player in school history to collect 1,600+ points and 500+ assists. The other two: Jones (1,722 pts., 517 asts., 1996-01) and Nash (1,689 pts., 510 asts., 1992-96).
Twice this season he has gone without a field goal, but it was just the fourth time in his career. In the Feb. 20 win vs. Pacific, Roquemore was credited with four assists, but went without a field goal (0-8). At Pepperdine on March 1, Roquemore was 0-2 from the field. Prior to this year, 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.
Coming off his 20 point performance vs. Pacific on March 6, where he hit 4 threes and 2 of 3 from the free throw line, Jared Brownridge now owns six Bronco rookie records and three game records. He owns the rookie records for points, threes, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, scoring average and field goals made. He also owns or shares the Bronco freshman game records for points (38), threes (7 twice this season) and field goals made (with 12, he tied for No. 1 with Brian Jones).
His 38 points at Pepperdine on March 1 was the best Bronco performance since Steve Nash scored 40 at Gonzaga on Jan. 19, 1995. He was just the 12th Bronco to score 38+ in a game. It also tied BYU's Tyler Haws for the best points performance this season.
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 28 of the last 31 games. In fact, he has scored 10+ in 22 straight games.
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, hitting 87.1 percent (142 of 163). He 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. LMU came at the free throw line, as the East Chicago, Ind. native went 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
Yannick Atanga is No. 6 all-time with 92 career blocks. He needs two blocks to pass No. 5 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). Atanga has 30 blocks this year to lead the team, including at least a single block in 15 of 23 games. A native of Yaounde, Cameroon, Atanga spent time playing last summer with the Cameroon National Team in China as part of a four-nation tournament. Playing basketball since he was 12 years old and now sporting a 7'4 wing span, Atanga dreams one day of working for the United Nations as a peacekeeper in Africa.
Jared Brownridge has started all 32 games this season and he has scored 16+ points in 19 games thus far, including 17 games with 3+ threes made and 25 double-figure games. Brownridge has collected 5+ threes five 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).
Brownridge scored 38 points at Pepperdine on March 1 - his third 30+ point game this season in WCC play. Brownridge scored a career-high 30 points vs. BYU on Jan. 18, adding four threes and hitting 8 of 8 free throws. He followed that performance up with 30 points at USF on Jan. 25, adding five threes and scoring 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Only three Bronco player have had back-to-back 30+ point games: Dennis Awtrey (March 1 and 7, 1969); Kurt Rambis (Jan. 4 and 5, 1980) and Foster (March 25 and 27, 2013). Awtrey and Rambis both scored 30+ in back-to-back WCC games as did Brownridge and Foster's came in SCU's CBI title run at Purdue and Wright State. He is the 17th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games and the 14th in school history to do it more than once in a single season. He has scored single digits just twice in WCC play this season (7 at Pacific, 6 vs. Gonzaga). He has a three in every game this year with the exception of at BYU on Feb. 6 (0-6), vs. Gonzaga on Jan. 29 (0-1) and vs. Sacred Heart on Dec. 18 (0 for 3).
Brownridge and Brandon Clark are just the second set of Bronco teammates to have multiple 30 point games in the same season. The only other set of SCU teammates to accomplish this: Rambis and Londale Theus did in the 1979-80 season. Theus scored 30+ twice that season (Jan. 25, 1980 and March 2, 1980) and Rambis scored 30+ three times (Jan. 4, 1980, Jan. 5, 1980 and Jan. 25, 1980).
Brownridge collected seven three pointers in nine attempts at Pepperdine on March 1. He tied his own Bronco freshman record. 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, he made seven threes. The seven threes by Brownridge broke the Bronco freshman record set by 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) later matched it. It is the most threes hit by a Bronco since WCC record holder Foster scored nine vs. Air Force on March 18, 2011.
In 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.
Nate 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 a very 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. 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. And finally, his paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College.
Hard For Us Too ...
The Broncos team this year features six players whose first name starts with a "J". The six are: John (McArthur), Julian (Clarke), Jerry (Brown), Jared (Brownridge), Jarvis (Pugh) and Jalen (Richard). The Broncos also have two Clarke/Clark's: Julian Clarke and Brandon Clark. They also have a Brown (Jerry) and a Brownridge (Jared). The Bronco roster showcases four players from California. They also have one player each from the following states: Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois. SCU also feature players from Canada (Julian Clarke), Cameroon (Yannick Atanga) and Nigeria (Emmanuel Ndumanya).