Santa Clara heads to San Francisco to take on the Dons on Thursday night in a West Coast Conference battle. The Broncos had a brutal out of conference season, winning only three games, but they have played a lot better since WCC play has started, and they have gone 3-3 thus far, doubling their season win total. They are coming off two straight losses, however, after starting 3-1 in conference.
The Dons, meanwhile, have been a huge disappointment, having won 20 games last year and some teams thinking they might make the leap to compete with St. Mary’s and/or Gonzaga. They aren’t even close, however, coming in at only 10-9 on the year and 2-4 in the WCC. They lost by 10 to Gonzaga in San Francisco in their latest game. They have lost two straight and three of four.
Line: San Francisco -10
Santa Clara loses two straight
When the Broncos jumped out to a 3-1 WCC record after winning only three games leading into conference play, it looked like a mirage. It may have been just that as they have come back to earth in their last two games, losing to St. Mary’s and BYU. Now we all know those are two tough teams, but it’s the way in which they lost that matters, by 24 to St. Mary’s and by 34 to BYU.
The loss to the Cougars was particularly discouraging. Santa Clara was at home, and although BYU is very solid, no WCC teams should lose by 34 to them. The Cougars shot a spectacular 61.5% from the field and made more than half of their three-pointers, so no the Broncos weren’t going to beat them. But that’s two losses by 58 points, for a team who had started 3-1 in the WCC.
Dons have lost two straight also
USF, like their opponent on Thursday, have lost two straight games also, but in a much closer manner than Santa Clara. They lost by two to Loyola Marymount two games back and then lost by 10 at home to Gonzaga in their latest. The loss to the Zags isn’t a bad loss, but if they are as good as some people think, the Dons should never lose to the Lions. But they did….
Loyola Marymount was winless in the WCC coming into the game and had only five wins on the season, but they had a 31-27 halftime lead and held off the Dons in the second half of the 67-65 win. The Dons have only themselves to blame, committing 17 turnovers. They shot 50% from the field and would have won the game if they could have just held on to the ball.
The Santa Clara Broncos are:
- 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games following three or more consecutive home games.
The San Francisco Dons are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
I was one of those high on the Dons this year, and have been let down. I think they still have the talent to turn it around however and I think they get an easy win on Thursday.