Santa Clara faces tough test at San Diego


Losing to Gonzaga tends to reveal a team’s biggest weaknesses.

For Santa Clara (11-10, 5-4 WCC), those weaknesses have helped the team address several issues. Ever since getting routed at Gonzaga, the Broncos are 4-0 and find themselves tied for third place in the West Coast Conference.

How exactly did Santa Clara start turning things around?

Their winning streak began with a non-conference win against Division II St. Katherine at home. Their next three wins came at home against San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine. While this four-game win streak looks like a turning point, Santa Clara needs to prove that they can play well on the road.

Playing on the road has been rough for the Broncos. Santa Clara is 1-3 in conference road games this season. In those four road games, they have scored an average of just 58.8 points per game, while allowing their opponents to score an average of 67.5 points per game. To stay in third place, Santa Clara needs to clamp down defensively.

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San Diego (10-11, 3-6 WCC) is coming off a huge upset of BYU on Saturday. Known as one of the better defensive teams in the conference, the Toreros held the nation’s highest scoring offense to 74 points. They will look for their defense to get the job done against Santa Clara.

If San Diego can limit the production of Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge, the Toreros have a good chance of winning this game. If not, the Toreros can only hope their offense can push them over the top.

Expect this game to be low-scoring defensive battle. Santa Clara has a four-game winning streak, but I wouldn’t sleep on San Diego. Their win against BYU is a huge confidence booster, so look for Billy Grier to have his team mentally ready to play.

The game tips off at 7:00PM PST Thursday and can be seen on