December 29, 2006

Broncos Take On Air Force In Cable Car Classic Championship

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Next Up for the Broncos
After defeating Colgate on Thursday night, Santa Clara University takes on the Air Force Academy Falcons in the Cable Car Classic championship game on Friday, Dec. 29. The Broncos and Falcons will tip off at approx. 8:15 p.m., following the consolation game between Colgate and George Washington. The Broncos and Falcons have never met in their history. Santa Clara will be looking to capture its second straight Cable Car title, after beating Bucknell in the final last year. The game will be broadcast live on 1220 KNTS.

Last Game for the Broncos
Santa Clara earned a 53-39 win over Colgate in the first game of the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 28. Danny Pariseau, John Bryant and Calvin Johnson all scored in double figures for the Broncos, who held Colgate to just 15 field goals. Bryant also added nine rebounds and a season high four blocks to help SCU win its 10th game of the year.

Head Coach Dick Davey
In his 15th season as the head coach at Santa Clara, Dick Davey has compiled a career record of 240-184 (112-84 WCC), which includes three 20-win seasons. Davey has also posted a 136-59 record at home for a .697 winning percentage. He owns the most WCC wins among active coaches and is the first Bronco coach to lead Santa Clara to four 10-plus win seasons in WCC play. A three-time conference Coach of the Year, Davey has coached Santa Clara to three regular season league titles, one WCC Tournament title, three NCAA Tournament appearances and five wins over top-25 teams. Davey served as a Bronco assistant for 15 seasons (1977-92) under former head coach and athletic director Carroll Williams and is a member of the prestigious Board of Directors for the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Bronco's 100th Season
2006-07 marks the 100th season of men's basketball at Santa Clara. The basketball team at Santa Clara first started in 1905 and became a varsity sport in 1917-18. In their 99 seasons, SCU has had seven All-Americans, 15 postseason appearances (11 NCAA, 4 NIT), three WCC Coaches of the Year, and one visit to the Final Four (1951-52). In 2006-07, the Broncos again face some of the top competition in the country as they attempt to earn their 16th postseason appearance.

SCU vs. Air Force
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: While the Broncos have never faced Air Force, they have played 53 games against current Mountain West Conference members, posting a 23-30 record in the those games ... SCU has faced every school in the conference except Air Force and San Diego State. They have played the most games against Brigham Young, whom they have faced 20 times, posting a 5-15 record against the Cougars.

Scouting Air Force
The No. 23 Air Force Falcons enter Friday night's game with an eight-game winning streak after beating George Washington 66-52 on Thursday. The team is led by head coach Jeff Bzedlik, who has a 36-8 record at Air Force. He led the Falcons to a 24-7 mark in his first season in 2005-06. As a team, Air Force shoots 54 percent from the field and 45 percent on three-pointers. Dan Nwaelele leads the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game, but all five starters average in double figures for the Falcons.

Cable Car Notes
Santa Clara has played in all 40 Cable Car Classics and has posted a 46-33 record, while winning 14 tournament titles ... in the 2006 Cable Car, the Broncos host three teams that they have never faced. SCU had never played Air Force, Colgate or George Washington in its basketball history coming into the tournament ... Dick Davey has led Santa Clara to four Cable Car Classic titles, including last year ... Brody Angley made the Cable Car All-Tournament team last year, while Brandon Rohe made it in 2002 as a freshman ... for the second year in a row, the Patriot League has a team in the Cable Car after Bucknell played last season ... the last Atlantic 10 team to play in the Cable Car was UNC-Charlotte (2004) , while the last Mountain West team was Brigham Young (2003) ... John Bryant set a career high with 17 rebounds against UC Riverside in the 2005 Cable Car.

Broncos vs. Top-25 Opponents
Santa Clara takes on No. 23 Air Force in the Cable Car Classic championship on Friday. The Broncos last faced a top-25 team on Nov. 25, 2006 when they lost 78-70 to Nevada, which was ranked No. 21 at the time. SCU is 19-76 all-time against top-25 competition, while Dick Davey teams are 5-28 against the top-25. SCU played two ranked teams last season, Gonzaga and North Carolina.

Brothers in Cable Car
Following wins by Santa Clara and Air Force on the first night of the Cable Car Classic, Santa Clara junior Mitch Henke and his brother, Andrew, a sophomore at Air Force, could face off in the Cable Car Classic championship game. Mitch missed the Broncos' game against Colgate with a sprained right ankle and is questionable for the championship game so the family showdown might not happen. Andrew played 13 minutes against George Washington and scored three points. Mitch is averaging 8.8 points per game for SCU, while Andrew scores 5.3 per game for Air Force. Andrew appeared in 25 games as a freshman last year and has played in 12 out of the Falcons' 13 games this year. Mitch suffered the sprained ankle on Dec. 23 against Utah State, but returned to finish that game.

Non-Conference Wins
The Broncos won their 10th non-conference game of the year against Colgate on Thursday night, setting a new team record for non-league wins during head coach Dick Davey's tenure. Under Davey, the team record for non-conference wins was nine, set five times (1994-95, 1995-6, 1997-98, 1999-00 and 2002-03).

Pariseau Keeps It Going
Broncos senior Danny Pariseau has been having a dream season so far for SCU. After scoring 11 points against Colgate, he has now scored in double figures nine times this season, including the past four games. From December 9-23, Broncos senior Danny Pariseau set or tied career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals. On Dec. 9, he scored a career-high 20 points at Pacific, before dishing out a career-high nine assists on Dec. 11 versus Eastern Washington. On Dec. 16 against Stanford, Pariseau led SCU with nine rebounds, setting another career high. Pariseau also scored 16 points, had four assists and made three steals to lead the team in four categories overall against Stanford. Pariseau finished the four-game stretch with 14 points on the road against Kentucky. He also made four steals against the Wildcats to tie his career high. Pariseau now leads the team in points (152) steals (21) and assists (60).

Defense Steps Up Again
Santa Clara held Colgate to a season-low 39 points on Thursday night. The last time that Santa Clara held an opponent to under 40 points was Dec. 27, 1988 in a 54-39 win over Fresno State. Thursday was the first time that a Dick Davey-led team held an opponent under 40. For the season, opponents are now shooting only .391 against Santa Clara and scoring 61.4 points per game. Santa Clara has now held six of its past 10 opponents to under 40 percent from the floor. Three of those opponents shot under 30 percent from the floor.

Low Scoring
Santa Clara and Colgate combined for 92 points on Thursday night in the Broncos' 53-39 win. That combined point total is the lowest since Santa Clara and Saint Mary's combined for 87 points on Jan. 28, 1989 in a 53-34 Gaels' victory.

Home Cooking
Santa Clara has gotten off to good starts at the Leavey Center the past few years. Last year, the Broncos started out with four straight wins at home and in 2004-05 they won their first five at home. Three years ago, the team won five out of six at home to start the year. This season has been no different as SCU has won seven out of eight so far at the Leavey Center. The Broncos have also won five straight at the Leavey Center.

Tight Games
The Broncos have not played many close games so far in 2006-07. Prior to their two-point win over Utah State on Dec. 23, the closest game was an eight-point loss to Nevada on Nov. 25. The only other game that was decided by 10 points or less was a nine-point win on Nov. 29 against Hawai'i.

Quick Start
At 10-4, Santa Clara is off to its best start since 2002-03. That year, SCU started off 10-4, but lost three straight games. A win against Air Force would give the Broncos their best start since 1995-96 when they started the year 11-4.

Rebounding
The Broncos dominated the boards against Colgate on Dec. 28, outrebounding the Raiders 33-22. For the season, SCU has outrebounded opponents in 10 out of 14 games, while owning a plus-7.2 rebounding margin. The Broncos have grabbed more than 40 rebounds seven times this season and have outrebounded their foes 538-437 on the year.

Shutting Down Big Scorers
Santa Clara has faced two of the top-10 scoring leaders in Division I this season in Rodney Stuckey and Jaycee Carroll. Both times, the Broncos have held them to their lowest scoring output of the season at the time. On Dec. 11, Stuckey managed only a season-low 12 points in the Broncos' 91-68 win over Eastern Washington. On Dec. 23, Carroll scored a season-low 14 points as SCU won 77-75 knocking him down to 12th in the country in scoring.

Bryant Comes Up Big
Sophomore center John Bryant had one of the best games of his career on Dec. 23 against Utah State. He matched his career high with 20 points while also pulling down a season-high 12 rebounds. He also scored the game-tying basket with six seconds left to send the game to overtime. In overtime, he scored four more points to help SCU to the win. Bryant now has three double-doubles this season.

Overtime
The Broncos played their first overtime game of the year against Utah State on Dec. 23. Last season, Santa Clara played three overtime games and lost them all, one to Mississippi State (82-69) and two to Saint Mary's (76-69 and 76-72). With the win, SCU is now 35-44 in overtime games in its history and 19-27 at home. Prior to the win against Utah State, the Broncos had lost five straight overtime games. Their last overtime win came on Dec. 22, 2003 against Maryland-Baltimore County, 65-63.

Dougherty Lights It Up
Scott Dougherty had an outstanding game against Utah State on Dec. 23, setting career highs in points (16), minutes (29) and three pointers (4), while tying his career high in field goal attempts (8). He is now averaging a career-best 4.9 points per game this season.

Steals
Santa Clara reached double-digits in steals for the first time this season on Dec. 23 against Utah State with 11. The previous high was nine, set against Utah on Nov. 18. The Broncos also forced a season-high 19 turnovers against the Aggies on Dec. 23.

Henke On The Mark
Junior forward Mitch Henke had been on a roll of late, scoring in double figures in four out of the past five games. He had 14 points against Utah State on Dec. 23, but sprained his right ankle in the game. He did not play against Colgate and is now averaging 8.8 points per game this year.

Rankings
Santa Clara moved up to the 17th spot on Collegeinsider.com's mid-major top-25, which is based on voting by coaches around the country. Also, SCU has moved up to 45th in RPI in the Pomeroy Ratings.