Broncos Top Rice in Basketball; Host Bethune-Cookman Sunday
Keating described the final play, Foster's three, as a busted play. "We were trying to go inside to Marc there inside out. The guys did a good job of recognizing and keeping their wits about them, spacing the floor and keep moving and not giving up on it," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "Kevin was able to step up, get a good look at it and knock it down. It was our first lead of the game if I am not mistaken and at the end, I guess it's the only lead you need."
"I have to give a lot of credit to Rice. They came in and played really physical and worked to set the tone," said Keating. "I am disappointed on our rebounding effort and we need to get better at that, but it was good enough tonight as we were able to force a few turnovers and then force them to play a certain way so we knew how to defend them. I am really happy we were able to get out of here with the win."
"My Dad use to tell me to worry about the next shot and that's what I tried to do tonight," said Foster, whose older brother Rodney played at Rice for four years, finishing in 2009. "We could have played a lot better, but a wins a win and we'll take it."
Santa Clara shot 43.5 percent from the field, including 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Broncos collected 27 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals and five blocks. Rice shot 43.4 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Owls collected 34 rebounds, 10 assists, 12 steals and one block. Both teams had 20 turnovers.
Santa Clara was 23 of 30 from the line and Rice, perfect in the first half hitting 11 of 11, finished the game with 13 of 17 made. Evan Roquemore was 6 of 6 from the free throw line and Niyi Harrison finished 5 of 8 after missing his first two.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Robert Smith, the only Bronco in double-figures, with 10. Foster finished with nine. Niyi Harrison scored nine points off the bench; and Evan Roquemore, Ben Dowdell and Marc Trasolini scored eight each, with Trasolini collecting seven rebounds and three blocks. His three blocks tied him on the all-time career list with 93 blocks, tying Kurt Rambis at No. 5.
"I was having a bad game offensively so I tried to help my team by rebounding and blocking shots on the defensive end," said Trasolini. "I'm really happy with the way we played down the stretch."
Rice was paced by Arsalan Kazemi's 17 points and 16 rebounds. Tamir Jackson added 15 points and five assists; and Connor Frizzelle added 14. Jackson added five steals to Frizzelle's own four.
To start the first half, Rice began with a 7-2 lead hitting a three at 17:35. Troy Payne's two-pointer at 15:43 made it 7-4. Smith's three at 14:50 tied it up 7-7. A basket and two free throws by Frizzelle made it 11-7 Rice at 13:52.
Rice scored on a dunk at 12:10. Roquemore answered with a two-point jumper and Foster was fouled when shooting and made both free throws at 11:05 to make it 13-11 Rice.
Cowels hit a two-pointer off a Harrison miss. Rice responded with its second dunk of the night and then two free throws to take a 19-13 lead at 8:28.
Trasolini scored off a sweet pass from Smith at 7:50. Rice scored a bucket and then stole the inbounds pass to score two and Kazemi made a free throw at 7:33 to make it 24-15 Rice.
Foster hit his first three of the night to make it 24-18 Rice. Lucas Kuipers hit both free throws to give Rice a 26-18 lead. Rice was 7 of 7 from the free throw line thus far.
Santa Clara then hit six straight free throws (Cowels, Roquemore and Harrison all hit pairs) to get back within five, but Rice answered back with a three-pointer at 3:53 to make it 33-24 Rice. Harrison hit another pair of free throws to make it 33-26 Rice at 3:35. Rice responded with two from the charity stripe at 3:35 before Harrison stepped back to the free throw line to hit one and a minute later hit a two-pointer at 2:33 to make it 35-29 Rice.
After a Rice three, Roquemore responded at the free throw line with two and then Rice hit its fourth three of the night to take a 10-point lead, 41-31 at 1:03.
Cunningham battled under the basket for two and then Roquemore was fouled grabbing the Rice miss and hit both free throws to make it 41-35 on the way to the lockerroom.
In the first half Santa Clara shot 40.9 percent from the field, including 25.0 percent from the three-point line. Individually Santa Clara was paced by Roquemore's eight points and seven by Harrison. Rice shot 43.3 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from the three-point line. The Owls were led by Kazemi's 15 points. Rice was a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line and Santa Clara hit 15 of 19 with Roquemore scoring on all six.
To start the second half Dowdell hit two free throws. Trading steals, Rice missed its first two free throws at 17:42. Harrison tossed it in from three feet out to make it 43-41 Rice at 17:19.
Rice scored twice before Smith hit a bucket and a free throw. After Rice turned it over, Cunningham turned around and hit a short jumper to make pull the Broncos within one, 47-46 Rice. Rice went on a 9-0 run when the Broncos whistled for time.
Back-to-back baskets by Trasolini were followed by a Rice timeout. Out of the timeout, Trasolini scored again down low and then Smith hit two free throws to bring the Broncos within two, 56-54 Rice. The teams traded baskets, including Michael Santos' put-back in the paint, 60-58 Rice.
With a chance to tie it up, Santos missed the front end of a one and one; and then Rice hit a three at 5:31. Cunningham hit two free throws at 4:33, Rice scored two and Dowdell dunked it.
After a Bronco timeout, Santos stole the ball and Foster was fouled and sent to the line after a media timeout at 2:07. Foster sank one. Rice whistled for a full timeout at 1:49 and then was whistled for a shot-clock violation. After Foster's shot clanged off the rim, Jackson was whistled for a five-second lane violation. Smith's pass rolled out of bounds to Trasolini and SCU fouled Tamir Jackson with 35.7 second on the clock. Jackson missed the free throw and Smith rebounded it with 35 seconds left.
Timeout Broncos. Foster sank a three with 20 seconds left giving the Broncos their first lead of the night, 66-65 Broncos. He had been 1 of 8 from the field.
"We really worked hard to pick it up on defense in the second half. The offense is going to come to us, but we really worked hard to pick it up on the defensive end," said Smith.