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Gonzaga-Santa Clara key matchup: Guard Tahj Eaddy leads Broncos’ turnaround

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 4, 2019, 9:01 p.m.

The emergence of sophomore guard Tahj Eaddy and freshman guards/wings Trey Wertz and Keshawn Justice has helped Santa Clara turn its season around.

Eaddy has been the driving force for the Broncos, who are 9-6 after starting 0-4. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound transfer from Southeast Missouri showed off his versatile scoring ability with a 30-point effort in Thursday’s victory against San Diego. He hit 3-pointers in transition, used his quickness to penetrate to the rim or for pull-ups and he made all 12 of his free throws.

Eaddy boosted his scoring average to 16.7 points per game. He’s a 40-percent shooter on 3-pointers and also distributes, averaging 4 assists. Zags point guard Josh Perkins will probably be the first defensive option on Eaddy. Reserve guard Geno Crandall, who is expected to play for the first time since fracturing his hand in late November, is another option.

Santa Clara has been starting three players 6-7 or taller, which will probably occupy Corey Kispert, Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, and leave Zach Norvell with the defensive assignment on Wertz.

Santa Clara guard Tahj Eaddy, bottom, loses the ball as he is defended by California guard Darius McNeill during the first half  in Berkeley, Calif.,  on Nov. 26. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)
Santa Clara guard Tahj Eaddy, bottom, loses the ball as he is defended by California guard Darius McNeill during the first half in Berkeley, Calif., on Nov. 26. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

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