SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After splitting a pair of games last week, Santa Clara men's basketball ventures to Southern California for two West Coast Conference contests beginning with Thursday's matchup against San Diego. Tipoff, between teams tied for fifth in the WCC standings, is set for 7 p.m. from Jenny Craig Pavilion.
San Diego (13-7, 4-4) won its first three WCC games, but has dropped four of five, including a 74-58 loss at BYU on Saturday.
The Broncos play at Pepperdine on Saturday at 3 p.m.
• Gonzaga's balanced scoring attack and second-half surge helped it pull away from Santa Clara. Josh Perkins scored 17 while Zach Norvell Jr. and Rui Hachimura added 16 points apiece for the Bulldogs who shot 60 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes before a near record crowd at Leavey Center. Junior guard KJ Feagin posted a game-high 21 points and senior guard/forward Henry Caruso added 11 for the Broncos.
• Feagin scored a game-high 23, including 19 in the second half, and Caruso posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Dons who were held to 41 percent from the floor. The Broncos suffered 18 turnovers, but connected on 10 of 12 free-throw attempts in the final 1:42.
• Feagin leads the team and ranks third in the WCC in scoring (17.8 ppg). Caruso is second on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg) and first with 6.8 rebounds per game (No. 7 in the league). Freshman forward Josip Vrankic (11.4 ppg) and junior guard Matt Hauser (10.3) are also scoring in double figures. Vrankic ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.8 pg) while Hauser is fourth in the WCC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2-to-1) and averaging 3.7 assists pg, No. 8 in the league. Feagin (2.3) and Hauser (2.2) rank sixth and eighth, respectively, in the WCC in 3-pointers per game.
• Caruso is one of only two players in the WCC to rank in the top 20 in scoring (18th), and top 10 in both rebounding and steals (sixth - 1.3 pg). Guard Elijah Bryant of BYU is second in scoring (18.0 ppg), eighth in rebounding (6.4 pg) and tied for seventh in steals (1.3 pg).
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | San Diego|
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).
• This is Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week. The Santa Clara coaching staff will wear tennis shoes and suits vs. both San Diego and Pepperdine.
• The Broncos have generally held on to the ball, registering just 11.6 turnovers per game and possessing a +2.0 turnover margin (first in the WCC).
• Neither Santa Clara (67.9 ppg) nor San Diego (70.1) possess high-scoring offenses, but the Toreros have one of the top defenses in the nation. San Diego ranks second in the NCAA in opponent 3-point field-goal percentage (26.9) and 14th in defensive field-goal percentage (39.0). The Broncos average 8.2 3-pointers per game (fifth in the WCC) and the Toreros surrender 4.4 pg.
• Forward Isaiah Piniero and guard Isaiah Wright and, a pair of transfers, have paced the San Diego offense. Piniero is leading the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 pg). Wright is averaging 14.3 ppg and 5.8 assists (second in the WCC).
THE SAN DIEGO SERIES
In a series that began in 1953, Santa Clara leads, 46-36, after the teams split last year's two meetings. Santa Clara has won seven of the last 10 meetings, including four of the most recent five in San Diego. In 2015-16, the Broncos won both meetings, but the teams split a pair of matchups in each of the previous two seasons. The teams have not met in the WCC Tournament since 2010.
In the last eight games, the Broncos have posted five of their six fewest foul totals of the year, including a season-low 10 vs. Portland (Jan. 6) ... the Broncos are 6-4 this season when shooting more than 40 percent from the floor ... Santa Clara has posted a season-best five blocked shots in each of the last two games. Josip Vrankic has four and Emmanuel Ndumanya three in that span ... KJ Feagin has reached double figures in 18 of the team's 20 games (nine points vs. Gonzaga, Dec. 30; nine points vs. BYU, Jan. 13) ... Feagin has eight of the team's 13 20-point scoring games this season ... Feagin has connected on 31 of his last 35 free-throw attempts ... a career 52 percent free-throw shooter, Ndumanya has made 15 of his last 18 from the line ... after connecting 61 of 78 (78.2) from the free-throw line in the previous five outings, including a season high 88.2 percent (15 of 17) against Pepperdine (Dec. 28), the Broncos went 4-for-11 against BYU (Jan. 13). But Santa Clara rebounded with an 18-for-26 (69.2 percent) effort against San Francisco (Jan. 18) and were 13 of 18 (72.2) in Saturday's loss to Gonzaga.
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 on KDOW AM-1220 or KTRB-AM 860 this season. Thursday's game at San Diego can be heard on Livestream.com. View the 2017-18 schedule for broadcast outlets.
Single-game tickets are available for contests at Leavey Center. The Broncos have four home contests remaining - Feb. 1 vs. Pacific; Feb. 3 vs. San Francisco; Feb. 10 vs. San Diego; Feb. 22 vs. LMU. 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.
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.