Pepperdine, Santa Clara meet in conference play
Pepperdine (10-8, 6-3) vs. Santa Clara (9-6, 3-4)
Leavey Center, Santa Clara, California; Saturday, 6 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Santa Clara plays host to Pepperdine in a WCC matchup. Pepperdine snuck past Saint Mary’s by two points on Saturday, while Santa Clara fell to San Diego on Thursday, 71-60.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Each team has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Josip Vrankic, Christian Carlyle and DJ Mitchell have collectively scored 42 percent of Santa Clara’s points this season. For Pepperdine, Colbey Ross, Jade’ Smith and Kene Chukwuka have combined to score 41 percent of the team’s points this season.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Waves have given up only 73.2 points per game to WCC opponents thus far, an improvement from the 78.4 per game they allowed against non-conference competition.
KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Ross has either made or assisted on 55 percent of all Pepperdine field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 19 field goals and 28 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: The Waves are 0-6 when they allow at least 75 points and 10-2 when they hold opponents to anything below 75. The Broncos are 0-6 when allowing 70 or more points and 9-0 on the season, otherwise.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: Santa Clara is a perfect 6-0 when the team blocks at least six opposing shots. The Broncos are 3-6 this season when they block fewer than six shots.
DID YOU KNOW: Santa Clara attempts more free throws per game than any other WCC team. The Broncos have averaged 22.8 foul shots per game this season and 26 per game over their last three games.