SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball closed out the opening month of the season with a victory and continues its three-game homestand on Saturday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Junior guard KJ Feagin posted a game-high 16 points, all in the first half, and senior guard/forward Henry Caruso scored 13 to lead a balanced offensive attack for the Broncos (2-5) who bounced back from a tough trip to Alaska by building an early lead and cruising past Northern Arizona, 89-57, on Thursday.
Tipoff between the Broncos and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-8) is set for 7 p.m. in Leavey Center.
Santa Clara, which snapped a five-game skid, found its shooting touch against the Northern Arizona, connecting at a 54-percent clip from the floor, including producing the second-most 3-pointers in school history. The Broncos went 17-for-35 from behind the 3-point line after hitting only 32 percent (24 of 76) in the previous four games. The school record was set last season when Santa Clara hit 22 in a 106-55 victory over Pepperdine on Feb. 16, 2017.
The Broncos rebounded against the Lumberjacks after dropping all three games last week in Anchorage at the GCI Great Alaska Shootout. Santa Clara fell to Sam Houston State, 73-59, in Saturday's finale behind Chris Galbreath Jr. (17 points) and John Dewey III (13) who led a balanced Bearkats offense. Feagin scored a game- and season-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half when the Broncos cut a 20-point deficit to 14 three times and then 10 in the final minute, but SHSU shot 52 percent from the floor.
The Broncos will enjoy some home cooking through the end of the year as they are in a stretch of six of seven games in Leavey Center.
Feagin leads the team and ranks second in the WCC in scoring (18.1 ppg) on 52 percent shooting from the field. Senior guard/forward Henry Caruso is second in scoring at 13.3 ppg and first with 7.2 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth in the league. Freshman forward Josip Vrankic is third on the squad in scoring (11.1 ppg) on shooting 49 percent from the field. Junior guard Matt Hauser is averaging 8.6 ppg and a team-high 4.1 assists per game.
The Broncos have held on to the ball, registering just 11.3 turnovers per game and a WCC-best +3.7 turnover margin, as well shooting the ball from the floor (46.9 percent) at a decent clip, but opponents are shooting 44.9 percent behind the 3-point line and own a 3.4 rebounding margin per game.
|Game Notes||Santa Clara|
YEAR TWO UNDER SENDEK
The Broncos are in their 111th year of existence, including second 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 24th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Santa Clara and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which plays in the Southwestern Athletics Conference, are playing each other for the second time. The Broncos defeated the Golden Lions, 69-57, on Dec. 15, 2015.
• In Thursday's matchup, the Broncos surrendered the fewest points of the season (57) and Northern Arizona posted the lowest opponent field-goal percentage (39.1).
• Senior center Emmanuel Ndumanya scored a career-high 10 points vs. NAU. He scored nine points three times in his career, the last occurring against Cal Poly on Nov. 18.
Coach Herb Sendek has given the team the freedom to take the open shots regardless of the location on the floor. Last season, Santa Clara connected on a WCC-best 9.4 3-pointers per game and this year they are nailing 8.6 pg after posting a season-best 17 (of 35 attempts) vs. Northern Arizona (Nov. 30). That total was second-best in school history, trailing on the 22 (tied for first in WCC history) against Pepperdine in a 106-55 victory on Feb. 16, 2017. In a little more than one season, the Broncos have posted six of the top 13 single-game 3-pointer totals in school history. They had 14 last season against Northern Colorado (Nov. 19), Portland (Jan. 7), BYU (Jan. 26) and Pacific (Feb. 23).
• In his fourth-straight start, freshman forward Josip Vrankic posted 13 points, five rebounds and a career-high four steals against Northern Arizona (Nov. 30). It marked his third-consecutive double-digit scoring game ... Henry Caruso, a 76-percent free-throw shooter at Princeton, has hit 28 of 31 (90 percent) from the line this season ... KJ Feagin has reached double figures in scoring in all seven games and Caruso in six of seven ... Caruso played all but 1 minute, 34 seconds in a three-game stretch (Cal Poly on Nov. 18, through Alaska-Anchorage, Nov. 23). He was subbed out for 17 seconds in the second half of the Idaho contest (Nov. 22) and for 1:17 in the first half vs. Alaska-Anchorage (Nov. 23) ... Matt Hauser has scored in double figures in four games ... Josip Vrankic averaged 17.7 minutes in the first three games and 30.8 in the last four ... the Broncos have used the same starting lineup - Feagin, Hauser, Caruso, Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya - the last four games.
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) will 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) will also be streamed through TheW.tv (local blackout restrictions apply for games broadcast over the air). There will be 22 games, including the Arkansas-Pine Bluff matchup, on KDOW AM-1220 or KTRB-AM 860 this season. View the 2017-18 schedule for broadcast outlets.
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season remain on sale (pro-rated once the season starts), but single-game and mini-plan options are also available. The Broncos will play 17 regular-season home games, including nine West Coast Conference tilts. Purchase options are available online or by contacting the Santa Clara ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Doors to Leavey Center will be open 60 minutes prior to the start of the game.
FAN EXPERIENCE PACKAGES
Group-ticket options and Fan Experience Packages are available through the Santa Clara ticket office, which is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Contact Jesse Moreno, one of our sales and service consultants, at (408) 554-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Parking is $10 in the main campus parking structure, which is located on Palm Drive through the main entrance (500 El Camino Drive). The Leavey Center parking lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is reserved for season-ticket holders. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.