Santa Clara takes down Life Pacific in preseason exhibition
THE SANTA CLARA
November 10, 2016
The Santa Clara men’s basketball team started their season strong as they defeated Life Pacific College 83-65. The Leavey Center was buzzing with a crowd of over 1,500 parents, students and spectators who came out and showed support in the season opener.
The first half remained tight for nearly the entire 20 minutes. Santa Clara traded shots with Life Pacific for most of the first half, but the Broncos turned up their offensive intensity in the last five minutes and went on a little run to enter the locker room with a 38-25 lead.
“As a team I thought we did really well pushing the ball and transitioning and trying to get ourselves some easy shots,” said senior guard Jared Brownridge. “One thing we do have to get better at is defense and getting stops.”
At the beginning of the second half, the Broncos battled to close out on shots and communicate on defense but struggled when it came to perimeter shooting. Life Pacific shot 47.8 percent from beyond the arc and 40.8 percent from the field.
Santa Clara’s offense stayed focused and made up for defensive errors by capitalizing on open looks and pushing the ball during transition to put themselves in scoring positions.
The Broncos shot 50 percent from the floor and made just under 75 percent of their free throws.
Brownridge started both the first and second halves and posted 20 points in the win over the Warriors.
The Broncos had 41 rebounds to the Warriors’ 24 but are not satisfied with those numbers. Those numbers won’t continue when they face tougher competition.
“We had a big emphasis on defense and talking but we didn’t really do what we wanted to do,” said junior Kai Healy. “We need to work on our defense and rebounding more, especially since we will be coming up against teams bigger than us.”
Saturday night was the first competition with new coach Herb Sendek at the helm. Sendek previously coached at Arizona State University and was announced as Santa Clara’s new head coach last spring.
“Sendek is a very successful coach and he knows the game and how to be successful,” Healy said. “He (emphasizes the importance) of talking more, playing strong defense and those are things we need to work on.”
Healy is not the only player excited about the new coach. Sendek has brought a newfound energy to this team that was lacking in the final years of the Kerry Keating era.
“The atmosphere (at practice) has been great,” Brownridge said. “We’ve been getting a little antsy, we’ve been practicing so much. We’re excited to get into the season.”
The Broncos’ preseason continues with the 50th Annual Cable Car Classic, a tournament hosted at the Leavey Center, beginning Friday, Nov 11.
Santa Clara opens the tournament against Northern Arizona University at 7:00 p.m. followed by games against University of California Davis at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Tennessee State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.