2015 WCC Tournament: #2 BYU vs. #7 Santa Clara Game Preview


BYU Cougars (23-8, 13-5) vs. Santa Clara Broncos (14-17, 7-11)

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015

Location: The Orleans Arena, Paradise, NV

Time: 8:00 PM PT

TV: ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Stan Heath)

Livestream: WatchESPN.com

Live Stats: Link from WCC website



Kyle Collinsworth, 13.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 5.8 APG

Chase Fischer, 13.0 PPG

Tyler Haws, 21.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG

Josh Sharp, 1.6 PPG

Corbin Kaufusi, 3.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG

Santa Clara 

Brandon Clark, 15.6 PPG, 3.9 APG

Jared Brownridge, 15.5 PPG

Denzel Johnson, 8.5 PPG

Jarvis Pugh, 3.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG

Nate Kratch, 5.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG

BYU Looks to Continue Success Against Santa Clara

BYU won both regular season meetings against Santa Clara by an average margin of victory of 28 points per game.  The Cougars were able to take advantage of the Broncos lack of inside presence, using their backcourt to get out and run against Santa Clara, especially in the first matchup.  For the Cougars to get a third victory over Santa Clara, the key will be stopping Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark, who both had fantastic shooting games last night in their blowout victory over LMU.  Jarvis Pugh also played well inside for the Broncos, but Corbin Kaufusi has the size and athleticism to lock him up in the paint.  This game is especially important for Tyler Haws, who needs to recover from a poor showing at Gonzaga that included some key missed free throws.  He needs to use this game to get back on track for the bigger games they’ll play in this tournament, possibly Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga.  With BYU playing much better defense lately, the offense has been given more room for error, as they beat Gonzaga without having their greatest shooting night.  If the defensive effort continues, BYU should have no trouble defeating Santa Clara

Broncos Need Hot Shooting to Continue

Last night’s victory over LMU was almost too good to be true for Santa Clara.  The Broncos shot 55% from the field and 53% from beyond the arc, raising the concern that they have not saved any made baskets for today’s contest against BYU.  If Clark and Brownridge are not hitting shots, Santa Clara does not have much of a shot to win this game.  It’s as simple as that, because those two account for over 49% of the Broncos’ scoring total.  Denzel Johnson could be an X-factor as the third scorer, as he did a great job against LMU converting his floaters and runners.  Matt Hubbard could give them a lift with his outside shooting, but he has been in a slump lately.  The Broncos are really going to need another hot shooting night and a prayer that BYU comes out cold in order to win this game.

Line: BYU is currently favored to win this 2015 WCC Tournament game by 12.5 points.