SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the midst of three of four away from home, Santa Clara men's basketball heads back on the road Saturday to face Portland.
Tipoff between the Broncos and Pilots is set for 5 p.m. in Chiles Center.
Santa Clara (17-6, 4-4 West Coast Conference) had a gritty effort on Thursday against second-ranked Gonzaga, but a career-high 31 points by Filip Petrusev and 62 points in the paint helped the Bulldogs prevail 87-72 for their 14th straight victory. DJ Mitchell had 17 points and Josip Vrankic recorded a double-double with 15 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for the Broncos who were within seven points with 5 minutes left.
In its last road outing, Santa Clara defeated San Diego, 65-52, on Saturday.
Portland (9-14, 1-7) lost at Saint Mary's, 86-64, on Thursday. The Pilots have dropped six in a row with the last three coming on the road.
• With a victory over Pacific on Jan. 18, Santa Clara matched its win total from last season. The 16-4 start was the best since 1994-95 when the mark was the same. The 14-2 opening to the season was the best since beginninng a school-record 21-0 in 1968-69 on the way to a 27-2 mark and a trip to the NCAAs. The Broncos won at least 14 of 16 to begin a season for only fourth time in school history: 14-2 in 1930-31 and 15-1 in 1946-47.
• Seven players are averaging at least 7.0 points, including four in double digits led by Trey Wertz (12.5 ppg), Josip Vrankic (12.2), Guglielmo Caruso (11.6) and DJ Mitchell (10.4). Keshawn Justice is averaging 8.8 points, Tahj Eaddy 8.0 and Jalen Williams 7.5. Caruso, who has been out of the lineup, leads in rebounding (5.5 pg). Vrankic is second at 5.4 and Mitchell third (5.3). Wertz is averaging a team-high 3.7 assists per game and Vrankic is second with 3.3.
|Radio/Audio||KDOW-AM 1220 | Tunein|
|Game Notes||Santa Clara | Portland|
YEAR FOUR UNDER SENDEK...
The Broncos are heading into the their 113th year, including fourth 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. Having led the Broncos to winning records in two of his three seasons, he is in his 26th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio).
• Injuries are starting to take a toll and Guglielmo Caruso is the newest addition with a lower right leg injury. He was injured against Alcorn State (Dec. 29) and ruled out indefinitely. Ezekiel Richards (ankle), who played in eight games as a reserve, and Miguel Tomley (knee), who has not seen action, have been ruled out for the season.
• Over the last six games, Josip Vrankic is averaging 19.7 points on 54.2 percent (39 of 72) shooting from the field and 7.3 rebounds. He's also attempted 43 of the team's 107 free throws in that span, connecting on 76.7 percent.
• Jalen Williams, a starter the last 13 games, has averaged 11.5 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the floor (8 of 15), including 3-for-5 behind the 3-point line, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in the last two outings.
• Over the last 10 contests, Trey Wertz is averaging 14.6 points on 55-for-97 from the field (56.7 percent), including 22 of 42 on 3-pointers (52.4 percent).
THE PORTLAND SERIES...
In a series that began in 1946, Santa Clara leads 66-33. It has been a series of streaks in recent years. The Broncos have captured the last eight meetings, which followed a three-game winning streak for Portland. Santa Clara has won six of the last seven at Portland.
BY THE NUMBERS...
0...Number of seniors on the roster
1...Santa Clara ranks first in the WCC in field-goal percentage defense (41.0).
2...Trey Wertz ranks second in the WCC among guards in shooting percentage (50.5).
2...Santa Clara is blocking 3.9 shots per game which is second in the league.
3...Santa Clara ranks third in the WCC in assists at 15.9 per game.
4...Number of returning starters - Tahj Eaddy, Trey Wertz, Josip Vrankic and Guglielmo Caruso
9...Number of underclassmen (four sophomores and five freshmen) scholarship players on the roster.
9...The Broncos have connected on at least 50 percent from the field in nine games this season. They did it seven times all last season.
21...Santa Clara made its final 21 free throws, including six in the last 21 seconds, to hang on to defeat Pacific, 84-80 (Jan. 18).
35...Josip Vrankic became the 35th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points by scoring 20 vs. San Diego (Jan. 25).
56...Josip Vrankic's 56 straight starts lead the team.
70...The Broncos were 10-3 last season when scoring at least 70 points. They are 14-2 this year..
Anthony Passarelli (play-by-play) and John Stege (analyst) call the action during the season on radio and through WCC Network at home. All Broncos home games and West Coast Conference contests (not on an ESPN platform, CBS Sports Network or BYUtv) will also be streamed through WCC Network (local blackout restrictions apply for games broadcast over the air). As in the past two seasons, nearly all games can also be heard on either KDOW-AM 1220 or KTRB-AM 860. In addition, any of this year's games can also be heard on the Tunein app. Saturday's game can be heard on KDOW-AM 1220 or through Tunein. The pregame show starts 15 minutes before the start of each broadcast and will air exclusively on Tunein. Click here for the complete list of 2019-20 radio broadcast outlets.
There are a number of ticket options for 2019-20, which has four home games remaining. Single-game and game-plan packages are on sale. For questions, contact the Santa Clara Athletics ticket office at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. The ticket office and doors to Leavey Center open one hour prior to tipoff.
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, the team leader of sales and service, at (408) 554-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.