December 23, 2005

Broncos Eye 39th Cable Car Classic

Dec. 23, 2005

  • Cable Car Classic

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Since 1967, the Cable Car Classic has played a major role in the rich tradition of Bay Area basketball.

    The roster of players and coaches who have participated in what is billed as the longest-running holiday tournament in the country reads like a who's who of college basketball... Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, Bill Cartwright, Ralph Sampson, Kurt Rambis, Steve Nash, Bobby Knight, Stephon Marbury, Gene Keady. The list goes on and on.

    On Dec. 28-29 at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center, the Cable Car Classic returns for its 39th year with four quality teams that have never faced each other.

    The 6 p.m. Classic opener on Wednesday features Santa Clara hosting UC Riverside. The second game, scheduled for approx. 8:15 p.m. will match up Boston University against Bucknell. The consolation game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday night with the championship following afterward. All four games of the tournament will feature live online coverage on SantaClaraBroncos.com. The SCU games will be carried on the radio in the Bay Area on KNTS-AM (1220).

    The Cable Car Classic was founded by two gentlemen who combined a passion for basketball with the hope of bringing the nation's top collegiate talent to the Bay Area. Art Santo Domingo, former public relations director of the San Francisco Giants, and Harry Jupiter, a sports writer for the San Francisco Examiner, have watched their hopes for exceed their wildest dreams, as the Cable Car Classic enters its 39th season as one of the country's longest running tournaments.

    Last season, Charlotte defeated Central Connecticut State by a score of 66-52 to take home the title in its first appearance ever in the tournament. Yale won the consolation title with a 90-84 victory over Santa Clara in overtime. Charlotte's Curtis Withers earned Tournament MVP honors after scoring 34 points in the two games.

    In addition to an all-tournament team, the MVP and the annual Kevin O'Connor Award given to the most inspirational player in the tournament, this year's event will feature the second year of the D.J. Frandsen Award. The honor, named after the former SCU men's basketball manager who died last summer after a lifelong battle with cancer, is awarded to the top sixth man in the tournament.

    Santa Clara enters the UC Riverside game with a 5-5 record following a 67-56 loss to the University of Montana Thursday night at the Leavey Center. The Broncos led several times in the game and owned a three-point, 47-44 lead when Brody Angley connected on a three-pointer with 14:48 left in the game. Montana went on a 23-9 run from that point that started with three-straight three-point baskets by Matt Martin.

    Bronco fans remember this Steve Nash versus Stephon Marbury matchup in the 1995 Classic.


    Senior forward Travis Niesen, who has been on the last two Cable Car Classic all-tournament teams and was the 2003 Kevin O'Connor Award winner, leads Santa Clara with a 19.6 per game scoring average. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native is also second on the team in rebounds with 6.5 per contest and is shooting .456 from the field and .754 from the free throw line.

    Sophomore Mitch Henke is scoring at a 10.8 per game clip and grabs 6.2 boards per game. Classmate Brody Angley is the team's floor leader, averaging 5.1 assists per game and is the best in the West Coast Conference with a 2.22 assist-turnover ratio. The trio have started all 10 games for SCU this season.

    SCU's first round opponent, UC Riverside, is winless in its eight games this season and is coming off a high-scoring 115-11 loss to the University of Puget Sound. The Highlanders dropped a 10-point, 77-67 decision to the University of Montana on Dec. 19 and five of their losses have come to Washington State, Portland, San Diego (twice) and USC.

    Senior guard Ricky Porter is the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points per game. He scored a career-high 34 points against Puget Sound and has led the team in that category four times.

    Bucknell enters the tournament as one of the nation's top mid-major teams, ranking third in the collegeinsider.com national poll. The Bison are 8-1 on the season and have impressive wins on the road at then #17 Syracuse (74-69), DePaul (57-52) and St. Joseph's (63-51). Bucknell's only loss came at home to fourth-ranked Villanova by a score of 79-60.

    Following the Cable Car Classic, the Bison travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium for a Jan. 2 meeting with top-ranked Duke.

    Boston University is 4-6 in the young season and earned a 69-56 victory at Canisius in its last game prior to the Classic on Dec.22. The Terriers own one of the nation's toughest schedules to date after playing at No. 1 Duke, #22 George Washington and Massachusetts and at home against Michigan.