San Francisco at Santa Clara
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Location: Leavey Center, Santa Clara, Calif.
Time: 8:00 PM PST
Video: WatchESPN or SantaClaraBroncos.com
Last Matchup: USF defeated Santa Clara by 9 points at home
Two bay-area rivals will meet for the second time this season with bragging rights on the line.
After knocking off the Broncos 75-66 at War Memorial Gynasium early this year, the San Francisco Dons (8-5, 15-10) will now travel to the Santa Clara, Calif. to take on Santa Clara (4-9, 11-15) on Saturday.
The Dons have had a great season in WCC play, despite the year looking dead in the water after Cody Doolin quit the team in late November. However, everyone associated with the program is probably sick of hearing that.
Several players on this USF team have stepped up their play to compensate for Doolin’s absence, and in particular, fill-in point guard Avry Holmes. Holmes has played solid point guard for the Dons this season while at the same time hitting some big shots. He has nailed 50 percent of his three-point field goals in conference play, making him one of the best shooters in the WCC.
Another player to step up their play has been Kruize Pinkins. The junior college transfer has emerged as the best offensive rebounder in the WCC, averaging 3.5 offensive rebounds per game this season during conference play.
Unlike the Dons, the Broncos have been fairly disappointing this year. The Broncos find themselves in danger of finishing in last place of the WCC after winning the CBI Tournament last season. Although the Broncos lost three 1,000 point scorers from last season – Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini and Raymond Cowels III – most assumed that the Broncos had enough firepower left over to make a case for a top 5 spot in the WCC this season.
Despite the Broncos bottom feeder performance, there has been a few bright spots for Santa Clara this season. Freshman guard Jared Brownridge has emerged as one of the best scoring guards in the WCC. His 19.0 points he is averaging during conference play is good for second in the West Coast Conference.
While the Broncos have endured their struggles this season, anything can happen in rivalry games, and hosting Santa Clara can use its home crowd to increase the unpredictability of the game.