Down 11 in the second half at 13:54, Santa Clara battled back to win for the seventh time in nine tries at cross-town rival San Jose State, 67-63. The visiting team has won the last five meetings. Santa Clara, who picked up its first road win of the year, moves to 5-4 and San Jose State falls to 5-3.
"It's always tough to play at your cross-town rivals. We knew when we were down in the second half we had to find a way and that way was to defend. If we played defense, we would give ourselves a chance to win. It can't be understated, we beat ourselves up in practice this week so it was nice to come out here tonight and beat on someone else. We challenged ourselves all week in practice," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "It's up to us now to step forward and not backward. Adrian Oliver is going to get his shots, he is really good. We tried to switch up who was guarding him throughout the game."
"Without defense, it really doesn't matter what you do on offense," said Evan Roquemore, getting his first college start tonight.
Foster was 3 of 14 when he made the three to give the Broncos the lead and when asked afterwards he said: "I have to have confidence in my game and also my teammates. I could not have made that basket if it wasn't for Marc and Niyi setting the screen because that is one of our plays."
Santa Clara shot 38.8 percent from the field (19 of 49), including 38.9 percent from beyond the three-point line (7 of 18). Santa Clara hit 22 of 29 free throws. The Broncos collected 42 rebounds, nine assists, four steals and four blocks. San Jose State shot 33.8 percent from the field (23 of 68), including 16.7 percent from beyond the three-point line (2 of 12). The Spartans collected 35 rebounds, 13 assists, 10 steals and four blocks. Santa Clara had 18 turnovers to the Spartans nine.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Kevin Foster's 26 points, including 9 of 11 from the free throw line (7 of 18, 3 of 9 from 3) and team-leading four assists. Evan Roquemore score 14 with six of six from the free throw line. Ray Cowels scored 10 off the bench. Niyi Harrison had nine rebounds. Marc Trasolini added seven points with six rebounds and two blocks.
For the Spartans, Adrian Oliver scored 26 points (10 of 27) and six rebounds. Justin Graham, last week's WAC Player of the Week, scored 16. Will Carter added eight rebounds.
Having used the same line-up for the first eight games, Santa Clara started Chris Cunningham and Evan Roquemore in place of Troy Payne and Marc Trasolini. Payne had started all 40 games of his Bronco career. It was the first career start for both.
In the first half, back-to-back baskets by Cunningham and Foster were followed by a five-foot jumper by Graham. Trading baskets, Oliver tied it up 6-6 at 16:24 after Roquemore connected at 16:42. After an Oliver basket, Cowels came off the bench to knock down a three at 13:55 and was followed by Roquemore's own at 13:01 to make it 12-8. Trasolini picked up his first block in five games on a Chris Jones shot at 11:47.
Following the media timeout, Graham's basket was followed by one by Trasolini under the basket to put the Broncos up 14-10 at 11:01. Cowels' hit his second three of the night, was fouled at 9:49 and connected on the Broncos' second four-point play of the season to give the Broncos an 18-10 lead. Graham's three at 8:42 was followed by Trasolini's free throw and another Oliver basket.
Foster had a good look at the basket and hit a three sandwiched between four straight baskets by Oliver. Matt Ballard's free throw at 2:58 tied it up 22-22. Oliver scored his 16th point, but Trasolini followed with a nifty move to tie it up 24-24 at 2:05. Timeout Santa Clara.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 45.5 percent from the field (10 of 22), including 50.0 percent from beyond the three-point line (4 of 8). The Broncos collected 19 rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks. San Jose State shot 34.4 percent from the field (11 of 32), including 12.5 percent from beyond the three-point line (1 of 8). The Spartans collected 14 rebounds, six assists, six steals and two blocks. The Broncos turned the ball over 13 times to the Spartans own six. SCU was 2 of 5 from the free throw line and SJSU was 4 of 6.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Ray Cowels seven points. A trio of Broncos scored five: Roquemore, Trasolini and Foster. Adrian Oliver put up16 first-half points for the Spartans, followed by Graham's 10.
The Spartans came out in the second half on 10-2 run until Roquemore hit two free throws to make it 37-30 at 16:02. The Spartans scored two baskets before Michael Santos hit two free throws, 41-32 Spartans.
Harrison's dunked the ball at 12:08; and then Chris Jones fouled Foster in the back-court and after the media timeout he hit both to pull the Broncos back within five at 11:35. Oliver hit a three and then Harrison scored under the basket to make the Spartans lead six.
Trasolini's dunk was followed by Graham's third foul. Foster hit one to pull the Broncos within three. Oliver hit a pair of free throws to make the lead five at 9:05. Roquemore answered with a three to pull the Broncos within two at 8:34. Graham knocked down two free throws at 8:21 to make it 48-44 Spartans.
Jones fouled Foster shooting a three and after the media timeout, Foster hit two to pull the Broncos within two again, 48-46. Oliver scored on two from the line to give him 22 for the night, 50-46 Spartans at 6:59. Oliver cracked Roquemore on the arm and he responded with two of his own to make it 50-48 Spartans at 6:41.
Jones fouled Foster and sent him to the line and he made both. Matt Ballard scored a bucket, was fouled by Dowdell and put the Spartans up by four again with the free throw.
Foster's floater with the left hand pulled the Broncos within two at 4:51. Timeout Broncos. Graham's ball bounced around the rim and went in to make it 56-52. Foster responded with a three at the top of the key and the Broncos trailed by one at 3:55. After a Keith Shamburger basket, the Spartans called for time at 2:51, up 58-55.
Jones fouled out (picking up all five in the second half) and Foster hit both to pull the Broncos once again within one at 2:41. Foster's floater with three seconds on the shot clock gave the Broncos their first lead at 1:54. It was their first lead since they led 22-21 at 4:01.
Harrison's block and Dowdell's rebound gave the ball back to the Broncos. After a Bronco miss, Cowels fouled Oliver who missed the first one and scored the second to tie it up 59-59 at :42.1.
Foster's three gave the Broncos a 62-59 lead with 26.1 seconds left. Timeout Broncos. Oliver's shot was well off the mark and Roquemore was fouled immediately. Roquemore sank both at 16.4 to make it 64-59 at 12.2.
"Marc and Niyi set a great screen for me and I curled around and let it go," said Foster.
Dowdell fouled out with 12.2 left and Graham, an 80 percent free throw shooter, missed both. Ballard took a shot under the basket, missed and Cowels rebounded the ball. Graham picked up his fourth foul on Cowels with 8.8 seconds. Cowels missed the first free throw and sank the second to put the Broncos up 65-59.
Oliver sank a basket with 4.3 left and then called timeout. Carter stole the ball and in-bounded the ball without the clock starting, hitting the shot. The officials looked at the replay and put .8 on the clock. The Broncos won 67-63.