Men's Basketball Falls at USF
San Francisco, Calif. – With four Dons in double figures USF defeated Santa Clara 68-62 in a WCC second place show-down in War Memorial Gym on Saturday. Santa Clara moves to 15-10 and 5-3 and USF is now12-11 and 6-2. Santa Clara returns home to hosts Saint Mary's on Thurs., Feb. 10 at 8 pm (ESPNU) and then San Diego on Sat., Feb. 12 at 5:30 pm (Comcast).
"A lot of our struggles had to do with their defense," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "You aren't going to win many games with Kevin going 0 of 10 from the three, but he did a nice job of adjusting and going inside. We had a chance and we didn't respond coming out in the second half. USF made a really good effort on Kevin. All of his shots were contested. They let him make lay-ups, but he couldn't get to the free throw line.
"We didn't respond to the challenge of being on the road like we have our last couple of games," continued Keating. "We knew it would be hard fought, a tough, physical battle. It was. We needed a better effort. Both of us (SCU and USF) will playing the same schedule here on out, but obviously they have a leg up on us by beating us twice. We have a huge challenge coming up on Thursday from a team that handed it to us in our last meeting and I hope we respond to the challenge."
Santa Clara shot 33.3 percent from the field (20 of 60), including 15.0 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 20). Santa Clara scored 40 rebounds, eight assists, six steals and four blocks with 10 turnovers. The Broncos shot 86.4 percent from the free throw line (19 of 22). USF shot 41.8 percent from the field (23 of 55), including 31.6 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 19). USF scored 40 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals and two blocks with 10 turnovers. The Dons shot 69.6 percent from the free throw line (16 of 23).
Individually, Santa Clara was led by Evan Roquemore's 16 points and six rebounds, including hitting 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Kevin Foster scored 14 points. He was 0 of 10 from beyond the arc (4 of 18 from the field) and 6 of 7 from the free throw line with four assists. Troy Payne and Marc Trasolini grabbed seven rebounds each. Payne, Ben Dowdell and Trasolini all scored eight.
The Dons put four players in double figures including Michael Williams (13), Rashad Green (18), Perris Blackwell (14) and Angelo Caloiaro (13). Caloiaro led the Dons with nine rebounds.
Prior to the game, for the third time season the opponent was whistled for dunking in pre-game warm-ups while the officials were on the floor. Foster hit one of the two free throws before tip-off.
USF started the game on a 5-0 run when the clock started. Dowdell hit two free throws at 18:32 before Green scored the Dons second three of the game, taking an 8-3 lead at 18:00.
Trasolini crushed a three at 16:23. Green scored a basket in the paint. Moustapha Diarra blocked Dowdell's shot and went the length of the court to score, 12-6 Dons. Payne answered.
Trasolini knocked down his second three of the game on a sweet pass from Foster as the Broncos pulled within one at 11:06, 12-11 Dons. The teams traded baskets with Harrison scoring at 8:53.
Blackwell scored a three point play at 8:30. Roquemore hit his first three and Diarra came back with a wide-open dunk to put the Dons up 19-16 at 7:48. After a Dons miscue on offense, Foster was fouled while shooting a three by Williams and he sank all three to tie the game at 19-19 at 6:21.
Payne dumped in a bucket from five feet to give the Broncos their first lead at 5:10, 21-19. Williams got it back quickly for the Dons with a three at 4:43. Blackwell picked up his second foul of the game on Foster, he sank both to put SCU back up 23-22.
Doolin scored under the basket before Dowdell sank a basket at the buzzer and the Dons again answered. Dowdell hit a pair of free throws to give SCU the lead again (27-26, 2:04). The Broncos played tough defense on two possessions with Santos taking a charge.
Williams fouled Roquemore and sent the rookie to the line to score both, 29-26 Broncos at 1:11. Dowdell fouled Caloiaro with 12.1 on the clock and he hit both. 29-28 Broncos.
There were eight lead changes and three ties in the first half with the Broncos taking their first lead at 5:10. Santa Clara shot 26.9 percent from the field (7 of 26), including 30.0 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 10). Santa Clara scored 18 rebounds, three assists and four steals with seven turnovers. The Broncos shot 92.3 percent from the free throw line (12 of 13). USF shot 39.3 percent from the field (11 of 28), including 27.3 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 11). USF scored 20 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks with seven turnovers. The Dons shot 60.0 percent from the free throw line (3 of 5).
Individually in the first half Santa Clara was led by Dowdell and Trasolini who both scored six. Roquemore added five. Harrison pulled down a team-high four rebounds. For the Dons Williams scored eight points and Doolin grabbed a team-high four rebounds.
The Dons started the second half on a 12-4 run taking a 40-33 lead before Keating whistled for time at 16:06. Foster laid it up at 15:40. Blackwell hit a pair of free throws and then Trasolini dunked the ball at 13:52.
Williams crushed a three to put USF up 45-37 at 13:38. Timeout Dons. Foster laid it in at 13:05. Walters was whistled for a technical on the Dons offensive end and Roquemore sank both to make it 46-41 Dons at 12:03.
After the technical, the Dons ran out to a 61-45 lead on a 15-4 run. Santos tipped it on at 6:01 and Harrison scored. Harrison battled Caloiaro for a jump ball, possession arrow SCU and Foster laid it at 4:47 in the midst of a 6-0 Bronco run. Timeout Broncos at 4:47.
Blackwell hit a pair of free throws and then he scored a three-point play to make it 66-51 at 4:26. Roquemore scored a three-point play at 2:08; and then followed it up with two pairs of free throws, 68-58 Dons at :51.9. Roquemore scored at :13.0. Timeout SCU.
Final score was 68-62 after Michael Santos added a last second basket.