Broncos win six straight; longest streak since 2013
January 10, 2019
Two words can summarize Men’s Basketball’s playing as of late: on fire.
Before entering last Saturday’s contest against No. 5 ranked Gonzaga, the Broncos were riding a six game win streak that began almost a month prior—their longest win streak since 2013. In total, Santa Clara had won eight of its last nine games, including a double-overtime victory against USC on Dec. 18 despite opening the season with four consecutive losses.
“We’ve really come together as a team,” senior Luke Martin-Resnick said. “Everyone is believing in themselves and each other. We’ve had freshmen step up in huge roles for us with guys out to injuries. We’re figuring out what we’re capable of and it has been translating in the games.”
But things came to a halt against Gonzaga when the Bulldogs beat the Broncos in a 91-48 rout in Spokane. Santa Clara, averaging 45 percent on field goals and nearly 72 points a game, shot just 33 percent from the field and 23 percent on three-point attempts.
“It was a tough game. They came out hot early and we struggled,”Martin-Resnick said. “We shot poorly throughout the game and they took advantage. We have been able to jump on teams early in our previous games and so we definitely need to get back to that. Moving forward, we just need to play the game that we know we can and get back to doing what we have been doing.”
Injuries have played a large role in the Broncos’ season thus far. Two-time All-WCC guard KJ Feagin, who played in every game last season and averaged 17.5 points per game, played in just two games before breaking his hand in November. Feagin then underwent surgery for a season-ending foot injury at the end of last month. First-year forward Juan Ducasse is also missing the entire season with a knee injury.
Now, with a rotation consisting of only eight players, the Broncos’first-year athletes have been asked to step up in a big way. First-year guard Trey Wertz, from Charleston, N.C., is currently averaging 11.8 points per game—including a 33-point performance against USC—while fellow first-year Keshawn Justice has averaged 10.8 points per game.
In total, 76 percent of the Broncos’ scoring has come from first-year players.
“No matter who it is we’re playing out there, we all trust in each other,” Justice said. “So that make sit easy to play with confidence, even if it is my first year.”
Santa Clara will aim to rekindle its hot streak Thursday as they host Pepperdine (8-8, 1-1 WCC) at 8 p.m.Although the Broncos have taken four consecutive regular season games from the Waves, this match will be the first time the teams havefaced one another since the first round of the WCC Championships last year. That game ended when Pepperdine shot a tournament record 70.8 percent to topple Santa Clara. Pepperdine currently leads the WCC in three-pointers made per game (8.9).
On Jan. 24, the Broncos will get a chance to rematch Gonzaga when they host the Bulldogs at Leavey Center.
Contact John Brussa at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.