Battle of the San Joaquin (SCU vs. LMU)


Separating these two California schools is one of the most important agricultural areas in America and maybe even the world. Driving north from Los Angeles to San Jose, the Lions of LMU will notice endless amounts of fields and croplands which yield roughly 12 percent of the country’s agricultural production yearly. This valley produces some of the world’s most sought after fruits, vegetables, and nuts, while having the ability to nearly carrying California alone on food production.

This valuable and precious area was highly sought after in the 16th through 19th centuries. Many battles were fought over this land and countless lives were lost trying to secure its possession. In our time, the bragging rights for this area will be handled on the hardwood. Currently sitting at fifth place in the West Coast Conference standings, the Broncos of Santa Clara are beginning to separate themselves from the pack of struggling teams in the bottom tier of the conference. At last place sits LMU, a team rebuilding from the loss of its record breaking point guard, Anthony January.

Coming off of two straight wins, the Broncos head into the third game of their four game home stand with some momentum. Leading scorer and team captain Brandon Clark is as hot as he has been all year, putting up 22 and 23 points respectively the previous two games. He will be matched up with LMU sophomore guard, Evan Payne, as Payne looks to slow down the streaking Clark. It will be Payne’s duty to continue to produce the scoring for his squad as he has done all year, averaging 18.8 a game heading into this contest.

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Though the Broncos are enjoying a little more success than the Lions this year, these two teams boast similar looks in terms of threats on the court. Both teams rely heavily on their guards to put up points and don’t look down low too often for production. Both teams struggle on the boards heavily with their two leading rebounders averaging 5 and 4 boards per game respectively. Santa Clara has had more success simply because of their leadership from Clark whereas Loyola Marymount is still looking to fill the huge void left by their departed leader, January.

Though it looks as if Santa Clara will take this first game of two in which these two teams meet this year, it will most likely be a close one throughout. LMU will look to take ninth spot in the conference from San Diego and get out of last place. The Broncos will try to gain ground on BYU for fourth place in the conference, but more importantly, bragging rights for control of Central California and the great, San Joaquin Valley.