Broncos Overcome 20 Point Deficit; Defeat USD 60-56
Story By John Nash '13
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 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.
"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."
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.
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.