February 12, 2011

Broncos Overcome 20 Point Deficit; Defeat USD 60-56

Story By John Nash '13

Click here to see/buy terrific photos of tonight's action!
Game Highlights

Behind Kevin Foster's 21 points, Evan Roquemore's clutch shooting and Troy Payne's second career double-double, Santa Clara overcame a 20 point second-half deficit at 17:39 to defeat the University of San Diego 60-56 in the Leavey Center. With the win, the Broncos improve to 16-11, 6-4 in WCC play. The Toreros fall to 5-21, 1-10 in conference action. Santa Clara will now travel to Spokane, Washington to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Thurs., Feb. 17 in a pivotal WCC game.

Santa Clara's 20-point comeback ties the biggest come from behind victory in school history when it defeated Marquette on Nov. 29, 1996 after being down by 20.  In addition, this was only the second time in 13 years Santa Clara has swept San Diego.
"We were down 20 at 17:39, and went on a 40-16 run to close out the game – that says a lot about our character," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.  When did you believe you won the game?  "When the horn went off (smiles). No, I think when Evan hit those two free throws with :15.3 left on the clock."

Santa Clara shot 40.8 percent (20 of 49) from the field, including 35.7 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 14). The Broncos collected 34 rebounds, 13 assists, eight steals and four blocks.  They shot 51.7 percent from the free throw line (15 of 29) with 10 turnovers. San Diego shot 39.5 percent (17 of 43) from the field, including 41.7 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 12). The Toreros collected 30 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and six blocks.  They shot 81.0 percent from the free throw line (17 of 21) with 15 turnovers.

Santa Clara's current consecutive games with 6+ steals is now the second-longest in Division I with the Broncos collecting 10+ steals six times during it.  During the stretch Troy Payne has collected a career-high six steals three times, including two straight games at Pepperdine and at LMU.  

Foster's 21 points (7 of 18 from the field) led the Broncos, while Evan Roquemore added 12 points and four assists. Troy Payne recorded his second career double-double, scoring 10 points while pulling down 10 boards (first was vs. LMU 2/11/10 when he had 12 points and 10 rebounds). Niyi Harrison pulled down nine boards, and Marc Trasolini added seven points.
"We got the win and that's all that matters," said Foster.

Roquemore was asked about shooting the game clinching free throws with 15 seconds left. "I was thinking that we need these free throws to win the game, and I know that I can make them. The key to the comeback was definetly toughness and defense."

 "We played a little soft on defense in the first half," said Payne.  "We kept working to chip away at it on defense in the second half.  My teammates really stepped it up."

San Diego was led by Devin Ginty's career-high 23 points.  Chris Manresa finished with nine points and 14 rebounds. Chris Gabriel finished with seven points before fouling out midway through the second half while the Toreros leading scorer Darian Norris was held to seven points.  Starter Matt Dorr failed to play in his second straight game due to illness.

Gabriel opened up the game's scoring by hitting two free throws.  After a Manresa layup, Foster responded with a floater in the lane.  Payne converted a layup to cut the Toreros lead to six, ending a 7-1 run by USD.

The two teams swapped points until Ben Dowdell finished off of a spin move inside to bring the Broncos within three at 12:03. USD responded with back-to-back buckets, as Cameron Miles knocked down a three in the quarter to make it 18-10 USD with 8:59 to go.

After Trevor Fuller converted a short jumper, Harrison converted a tip in at 6:29 to bring the Broncos back within eight. After each team traded points, Manresa converted back to back lay ups to push the lead to 13.

Roquemore knocked down a pair of free throws at 2:47 to make it 27-16 Toreros. After another pair of Roquemore free throws, Devin Ginty knocked down a three in the corner to push the lead back to double digits.  Fuller knocked down a jumper, and the Toreros took a 32-18 lead to the locker room.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 22.7 percent (5 of 22) from the field, including 00.0 percent from beyond the arc (0 of 4). The Broncos collected 17 rebounds, two assists, and three steals.  They shot 50.0 percent from the free throw line (8 of 16) with seven turnovers. San Diego shot 50.0 percent (11 of 22) from the field, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 6). The Toreros collected 16 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and one block.  They shot 63.6 percent from the free throw line (7 of 11) with five turnovers.  Foster and Roquemore led the Broncos with four points apiece.  Harrison pulled down five boards. Ginty paced USD with eight points, as Manresa added seven points and 10 rebounds.

The Broncos 18 first half points was their lowest first-half point total since Feb. 25, 2010 at Gonzaga when they scored 15.

Dowdell opened the second half by converting a jumper while he was fouled.  San Diego wheel off a 8-0 run, as Ginty scored six of the eight. Foster ended the run with back-to-back three's to cut the lead to 14. Roquemore found Payne on a nifty pass, which capped an 8-0 for SCU.

Manresa ended the Bronco's run with a bucket, but Harrison responded with a strong inside move.  The two teams traded points for the next couple minutes until, Payne converted a put-back at 11:32 to make the score 46-35.

Payne again converted on the inside to bring the Broncos within single digits.  Foster converted a mid-range jumper, and Trasolini finished on the inside to make it 46-41 USD at 8:58. Ginty and Foster exchanged threes, and Foster finished a transition layup from Payne.

Foster nailed three free throws, tying the game at 49 at 4:34, but Ginty responded with a layup at 4:20. Roquemore answered with a three-pointer, giving the Broncos their first lead of the game. Roquemore's three capped a 19-5 SCU run.

Rancifer hit a three from the corner, but Trasolini finished a dunk from Payne to keep the score tied. After Payne converted a free throw, Ginty knocked down two free throws at 1:07 to put the Toreros up 1. Roquemore answered with a clutch three, to put the Broncos up 58-56.

Roquemore sank two clutch free throws to put the Broncos up four at :15.3 and Santa Clara pulled out a come-from-behind victory. There were five lead changes in the final 3:48.

Game notes: The Warriors Stephen Curry attended the game with Warriors assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, a Santa Clara alum.