GAME NOTES: The Santa Clara Broncos will try to end their six-game losing streak on Thursday when they visit the Marriott Center for a West Coast Conference bout against the BYU Cougars.
Coach Kerry Keating's Broncos began February with a 76-64 home loss to Portland on Saturday. The setback dropped Santa Clara to a 10-14 overall record. The losing slide has erased the Broncos' promising start to WCC play as they are tied for last in the league standings with Loyola Marymount entering Thursday's slate. Santa Clara has been the second least productive team in the conference in terms of scoring points with an average of only 70.6 ppg. The Broncos has surrendered 72.1 ppg in WCC games.
BYU began its current homestand with a 10-point triumph over Pacific last week before it used a second half surge to earn an 84-71 decision over Saint Mary's- CA. The Gaels led by a point at the intermission before the Cougars dominated the second stanza, The back-to-back victories lifted coach Dave Rose's squad to a 15-9 overall record. The Cougars are 10-1 at the Marriott Center this season and have outscored their opposition by 21.1 ppg at home.
This will be the 26th meeting in history and second this season between the Broncos and BYU. The Cougars downed SCU, 91-81, on Jan. 18 at the Leavey Center to extend their all-time series lead to 20-5.
In the Broncos' loss to the Pilots, Jared Brownridge paced the team with 20 points and also dealt out five assists. Brandon Clark and Jerry Brown both added 11 points. Clark went just 1-of-11 from the floor and Brown grabbed a team-high seven rebounds before fouling out. The lopsided result of the contest was no surprise considering how Keating's team performed offensively. SCU connected on only 38.2 percent of its field-goal attempts including a 5- of-22 clip from behind the 3-point line. Brownridge and Clark are tied for the team-scoring lead on the campaign at 16.9 ppg. Both are also ranked in the top seven in made 3-point field goal attempts per game. Evan Roquemore, who has been coming off the bench in recent weeks, is contributing 11.3 ppg on 36 percent efficiency from the field.
Tyler Haws continued his incredible hot streak for BYU against SMC, finishing with 33 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor. The junior guard has averaged 35.5 ppg over his last four and ranks third nationally on the campaign in points per game (24.6). The opposition cannot focus on Haws with sixth man Matt Carlino (13.7 ppg) and sophomore swingman Kyle Collinsworth (14 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 5.1 apg) rounding out the elite backcourt. Freshman forward Erik Mika gives the Cougars a decent low post presence on the offensive end and junior big man Nate Austin pulls down a team-high 8.1 rpg.
BYU is netting 87.3 ppg and grabs 41.8 rpg. The Broncos' guards are capable of holding their own against most WCC backcourts, but they will struggle to find easy points in the paint. When these teams squared off in January, Brownridge and Clark combined for 50 points and SCU still lost by 10. The Cougars should have no trouble fending off the Broncos once again.
Game Date and Time