Santa Clara vs. Pacific Preview


Santa Clara Broncos (5-7, 0-1) vs. Pacific Tigers (8-5, 0-1)

When: Monday, December 29th at 7:00 pm Pacific

Where: Alex G. Spanos Center, Stockton, CA

Live Video:

Live Stats: Stat Broadcast


Santa Clara

The Broncos have been an extremely streaky team that is on a losing one at the moment. They won three games to open the season, then lost four straight, then won three straight, and are currently on a three game losing streak after losing 73-60 at Saint Mary’s on Saturday. They are led by the high-scoring duo of senior Brandon Clark and reigning WCC Newcomer of the Year Jared Brownridge. They duo is currently 6th and 11th in the WCC in points per game. Clark is also 7th in the WCC in assists per game. But they are near the bottom of the WCC in assists as a team as they don’t rely on a lot of team play with Clark and Brownridge being such prolific scorers.

Despite the strong duo of guards, the Broncos currently are last in the WCC in points per game. They are weak in the front court especially after losing Yannick Atanga for the season during non-conference play. It’s been felt especially in the rebounding category where the Broncos are last in the WCC in all major categories. Expect them to have trouble winning the rebounding battle and instead hoping their strong guard play has enough offense and just enough defense to scrape out a win.


The Tigers quietly had one of the better non-conference runs of any WCC team after being picked to finish a distant last in the conference in the preseason poll. They had won 5 of their last 6 entering WCC play on Saturday, but they fell to San Francisco 77-71 after leading for most of the game. The Tigers are anchored by star T.J. Wallace, one of the only returning players with significant playing time after most of the main contributors last year were lost to graduation. Wallace is 10th in the WCC in scoring and rebounding. Their recent success has also been fueled by the emergence of Dulani Robinson. His stats are rising fast, and he is now 21st in scoring and 10th in assists.

However, Pacific has struggled to put everything together at the same time beyond Robinson and Wallace. They have flashed potential with big games from guys like Alec Kobre and Gabriel Aguirre, but they often end up relying on Wallace and 1 other supporter each game which limits their output. They will hope to exploit their three point defense that is fourth best in the conference against Clark and Brownridge. They will also try to take advantage of the rebounding struggles of the Broncos with Wallace as well as Jacob Lampkin who is 17th in the WCC in rebounds.


Denzel Johnson and Jared Brownridge (SCU) vs. TJ Wallace (PAC)

This game should come down to the play of the high scoring guards. One reason the Broncos have had some success despite not much rebounding and frontcourt contribution has been the lockdown play of their guards. Johnson and Brownridge are 3rd and 8th in the WCC in steals, and it’s a big reason why the Broncos are 3rd best in turnover margin. If they can limit Wallace and the other Pacific guards, the Tigers won’t have much left to counter the offense of Clark and Brownridge. The slight rebounding advantage for Pacific won’t be enough to compensate for it. Look for the turnover battle to decide this game.


Santa Clara should find a way to win. With a deeper pool of guards and their turnover ability, guys like Clark and Brownridge should outperform Wallace and the Tigers. Pacific should win the rebounding battle inside, but they aren’t strong enough for it to be enough of an advantage. Expect a low scoring game with not much output from anyone except the elite guards. That should favor the Broncos as they will do just enough to win a close one. But it won’t be the prettiest win you’ve ever seen.