Santa Clara (7-2) at Pacific (5-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: None. Home Record: Santa Clara 5-2, Pacific 3-1. Away Record: Santa Clara 2-0, Pacific 0-2. Neutral Record: Santa Clara 0-0, Pacific 2-1. Conference Record: Santa Clara 0-0, Pacific 0-0. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 88-41.
GAME NOTES: Two familiar foes will clash in Stockton on Saturday evening, as the Pacific Tigers close out a three-game homestand by playing host to the Santa Clara Broncos at the Spanos Center.
The Broncos come in with a solid 7-2 record. The two losses came in back-to- back games against Utah State and UC Santa Barbara and both were overtime affairs. Since the loss to the Gauchos, Santa Clara has posted two straight wins, topping Pacific Union (77-42) and most recently, San Jose State (75-54).
The Tigers have had their ups and downs this season at 5-4 overall, but come into this game with a bit of momentum. Pacific has won back-to-back games, topping Nevada (78-72 OT) and San Francisco (67-59) in the first two legs of the current homestand.
These two former conference foes will once again be in the same conference next year when Pacific makes the move to the West Coast Conference in 2013-14. This marks the 130th all-time meeting between these two programs, with Santa Clara holding a sizable 88-41 advantage.
Thanks to a strong shooting performance, the Broncos were able to jump out to a big lead and earn a lopsided win over San Jose State last time out. Santa Clara converted 46.6 percent from the floor in the game, fueled by a strong 8- of-20 showing from behind the arc. Evan Roquemore led the way offensively for the Broncos with 16 points. Raymond Cowels III added 13 points, while Kevin Foster chipped in with 11.
One of the most potent offensive teams in the country, Santa Clara comes into the weekend averaging a hefty 82.1 ppg on .471 shooting. The team has also played well defensively, limiting foes to just 65.9 ppg, while forcing just over 19 turnovers per contest. Foster has been the offensive catalyst for the squad, averaging a robust 20.1 ppg. A do-it-all guard, Foster is also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game. Marc Trasolini is a nice complement in the frontcourt, averaging 14.2 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game. Cowels rounds out the top scoring threats at 13.1 ppg.
The Tigers overcame an eight-point deficit in the second half to post an eight-point win over the Spartans last time out. Ross Rivera led three Tigers in double figures with 17 points off the bench. Travis Fulton and Khalil Kelley chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Pacific was able to shoot a steady 52.0 percent from the floor in the game and outrebounded San Jose State, 36-25.
Pacific isn't an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination, averaging 68.9 ppg, but the Tigers have been efficient at that end, shooting 48.2 percent overall. Senior guard Lorenzo McCloud leads the charge offensively with 12.4 ppg. Rivera, who has started seven of the nine games this season, is also in double figures, netting 10.9 ppg.
Pacific has played well of late, but the Broncos have more weapons and behind the play of Foster and company, expect a big road win for Santa Clara.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 74, Pacific 66
12/15 10:38:06 ET