Men Travel to Spokane, Portland For Key WCC Road Games This Week
Note: Game will be available on Fox Sports Northwest Plus ch. 688 on DirecTV.
Santa Clara (16-11, 6-4 WCC) travels to Spokane on Thurs., Feb. 17 to play Gonzaga (17-9, 7-3 WCC) at 6 pm on Universal Sports Seattle/KHQ Spokane. Greg Heister and Craig Ehlo will be at the mic for the Northwest broadcast. Santa Clara will then travel to Portland to play the Pilots (18-8, 5-5 WCC) in a 5:30 pm game on Sat., Feb. 19. The game vs. the Pilots will be televised on Comcast Northwest with Scott Lynn, Dwight Jaynes and Brooke Olzendam teaming up to the make the call.
This weekend's match-ups in the Great Northwest could stir up the West Coast Conference standings. Saint Mary's is solid in first at 10-1, Gonzaga and USF are in a tie for second place (both 7-3), Santa Clara is in third (6-4) and Portland is in fourth (5-5). USF will play at Portland Thursday and then at Gonzaga on Saturday.
This is the 76th meeting between Santa Clara and Gonzaga. Gonzaga leads the all-time series 44-31, including 25-8 in Spokane. Santa Clara grabbed a 14-point win in Santa Clara on Jan. 20. In its 85-71 win on ESPNU, the Broncos were led by a career-high 36 points from Kevin Foster, still the highest tally for a WCC player this season. The last time the Broncos swept the season series with the Zags: in 1996 Santa Clara won 72-61 on Jan. 12 and then finished the Zags off with a 77-71 in Spokane on Feb. 24. Santa Clara's last win in Spokane: an 84-73 victory on Feb. 12, 2007, ending the nation's longest home winning streak at 50 games.
The Gonzaga game will be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 6 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his fourth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Coach Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 9:10-9:20 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble with an interview conducted by Passarelli. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com.
SCU at Gonzaga
The Broncos are scoring 72.7 ppg while giving up 69.5 ppg. They are rebounding 35.4 to their opponent's 31.5 and shooting 43.4 percent from the field, including 34.9 percent beyond the arc.
SCU has had three players in double figures all season: Kevin Foster (19.3), Marc Trasolini (11.8) and Evan Roquemore (10.8). Scoring double figures in 25 games this season, Foster, No. 33 in the country in scoring, leads the WCC overall games in ppg and threes per game; and is second in the WCC play (20.7 ppg). Fourth nationally in threes made per game, he leads the country in threes made and attempted (Feb. 14). Trasolini leads the team with 5.8 rpg and 1.0 bpg. Trasolini collected his fifth career double-double vs. CSU Bakersfield and had a season-high three blocks three times, scoring a season-high 22 vs. Fordham. Roquemore leads the team with 3.8 apg and Troy Payne is in front with 1.8 spg. Foster has led the team in scoring 19 of its 27 games this season. SCU is 10-4 when Roquemore dishes 4+ assists and 5-0 when Payne collects double-digit rebounds.
Gonzaga has three players averaging double figures: Steven Gray (14.6 ppg), Robert Sacre (12.9 ppg) and Elias Harris (11.9 ppg). Sacre leads the team with 6.7 rpg and he also swats down a team-leading 1.8 bpg Gray dishes out a team-leading 4.0 apg and grabs a team-leading 1.7 spg.
Troy Payne, one of the leading candidates for the WCC Defender of the Year, scored his second career double-double in SCU's come-from-behind victory vs. San Diego on Feb. 12. Payne scored 10 points (4 of 5 from the field), adding 10 rebounds as well. Payne has collected 5+ rebounds in 13 straight games, with 7+ the last five games (double figures three times). He is averaging 9.1 rpg in the last seven games, including a season-high 12 at LMU. Four of the last 10 games he has 4+ steals, including a career-high six steals three times (at USD, at Pepperdine and at LMU). Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett had this to say of Payne: "Troy Payne is a really good defender. He makes it really hard when he guards you because he will really disrupt your offense."
I got it!
Santa Clara's steals streak has reached national proportions. Santa Clara's current consecutive games with 6+ steals is the second-longest in Division I with the Broncos collecting 10+ steals six times during the streak. A week ago the Broncos followed Louisville, Valparaiso and Houston Baptist, but Louisville and Valpo both had their streaks snapped over the weekend. The Broncos are 10-2 when collecting 8+ steals this year. Check out the top 2:
1. 19 - Houston Baptist (7-12-10-6-8-11-7-9-10-10-6-9-6-11-10-8-9-6-7) (next game: vs. NJIT, 2/17/11)
2. 18 - Santa Clara (8-8-10-6-7-10-14-6-9-6-6-7-11-14-11-6-7-8) (next game: at Gonzaga, 2/17/11)
Turned It UP!
Ben Dowdell, acknowledging earlier this season that his senior year "will be the one that defines my Bronco career", has posted double figure scoring in nine games this season, including five of the last eight. Dowdell tied his career-high with 22 points vs. Portland on Jan. 22. He last scored 22 vs. Niagara on Dec. 29, 2007. The total vs. the Pilots topped his previous career-high in WCC play from his freshman year (21 vs. Dons on Feb. 25, 2008).
Starting all 27 games this year, Dowdell is averaging 7.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Dowdell has posted double figures 23 times in his career: nine times this year, five times his junior year and nine times his rookie campaign.
He has played in 117 career games with 87 career starts. With his play vs. San Diego, he vaulted into the Broncos' career games played top 10 list. Sitting at No. 8 with 117 games played are: Dowdell (2007-11), Mitch Henke (2004-08), Brian Jones (1996-01) and Travis Niesen (2002-06). Dan Weiss (1984-88) is No. 7 with 119 and Jens Gordon is No. 6 with 120 (1985-87). Santa Clara has at least five games left and if he plays in each game, he will be tied with Brody Angley (2004-08) and Mitch Burley (1985-89) with 122 games played at No. 3 all-time.
Dowdell will also finish in the top 10 in personal fouls in a career as he has 356 career fouls, good for a tie at No. 4 on the list with Mike Norman (1980-84). He needs three to move to No. 3 (358, Dan Weiss, 1984-88) and 11 to pass Kurt Rambis at No. 2 (1976-80).
See the game notes for top 10 lists.
There are some interesting comparisons after Santa Clara's first 27 games last season and the first 27 games this year. Santa Clara is 16-11 and 6-4 in the WCC this season and was 10-17 and 2-8 in the WCC last season. See the following positives on this season as compared to last:
*Increased points per game from 65.0 to 72.7
*Increased scoring margin from -4.8 to +3.1
*Increased FG made from 592 to 640 and FG % from .412 to .434
*Increased 3 pt FG made from 129 to 188 and 3 pt FG % from .304 to .349
*Increased 3 pt FG made per game from 4.8 to 7.0
*Decreased opponent 3 pt FG made % from .393 to .353
*Decreased opponent 3 pt FG made per game from 6.7 to 5.7
*Increased FT made from 441 to 494 and attempts from 635 to 692
*Increased FT made per game from 16.3 to 18.3
*Increased rebounds per game from 34.4 to 35.4
*Increased rebounding margin from -0.1 to +3.9
*Decreased opponent rebounds per game from 34.5 to 31.5
*Increased assists per game from 10.3 to 13.3
*Decreased opponent assists per game from 14.0 to 11.8
With a four of 10 performance from beyond the arc vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's on Feb. 10, Kevin Foster broke two single season records. His own records as a matter of fact. Foster broke Nash's single season record (84) as a freshman in 2009 with 85. Heading to Spokane, he now has hit 90 threes this season in 246 attempts. He has also jumped into the Broncos top 20 point scorers in a season with 520, good for No. 17. See the game notes for top 10 lists.
To enter the top 10 of the West Coast Conference single season list for three-pointers, Foster will need to hit 98 this season. There are four WCC players that have hit 98 in a season: Jared Stohl of Portland (2010), Ross DeRogatis of USD (2007), Blake Stepp of Gonzaga (2003) and Casey Frandsen of Portland (2002). The WCC single season record is 126 by Jeff Fryer of LMU in 1989. He is also No. 2 on the list with 121 in 1990.
Foster put together a pretty impressive resume for the month of January and has followed it up with fine play in February. Review some of his accomplishments from January:
* Finished the month leading the WCC in scoring (all games and WCC only). No. 3 in the NCAA in threes made per game and led the nation in threes made and threes attempted overall
* Double figures in 7 of 8 games, hitting 6+ threes in three games. 5 games with 19+ points (and points totals of 26, 36, 28 in league games).
* 36 points vs. Gonzaga in SCU's first win at home since 2001 (Jan. 20). Most points for any player in the WCC this year and most vs. Gonzaga in a year.
* Tied the SCU record with 8 threes vs. USF (Jan. 8). Broke WCC record for attempts with 20 in the same game -- shooting 40% from three.
* 19 points in win over Portland (Jan. 22), scoring his 1000th career point as a sophomore (first sophomore in Bronco school history).
* 13 of 13 from the free throw line at LMU (Jan. 29). It was the best 100.0 percent mark for a Bronco since Steve Nash hit 21 of 21 vs. Saint Mary's in a 75-71 Bronco win on 1/7/95. It was the most free throws hit by a Bronco since Nash hit 17 of 18 vs. Maryland on 3/15/96. Foster was the sixth Bronco to hit 13 free throws in a game.
* Shot 40 of 52 from the free throw line, hitting 77 percent -- twice what anyone player in the WCC shot during the month.
Evan Roquemore, a legit candidate for the WCC Newcomer of the Year, is 107 of 131 from the charity stripe in his rookie campaign. He has already broken the free throws made freshman record this year and is now working towards the school record in free throws attempted and assists. The school record for free throws made was 98 by then-freshman Brian Jones (1996-97). Jones still owns the freshman record for free throws attempted with 142. Roquemore needs 12 attempts to break that record, sitting at No. 2 on the list and he needs 17 assists to break the assists record. See the game notes for top 10 lists.
Roquemore has started 19 straight games after coming off the bench the first eight games of his freshman year. Averaging 10.8 ppg, a team-leading 3.8 apg and 3.4 rpg, he had a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and a career-high in points vs. Northern Colorado. He has been perfect at the free throw line in nine games this year: 6 of 6 vs. Rice, 10 of 10 vs. Northern Colorado, 6 of 6 at San Jose State, 7 of 7 vs. Washington State, 6 of 6 at CSU Northridge, 1 of 1 at Saint Mary's, 8 of 8 vs. Gonzaga, 2 of 2 at LMU and 6 of 6 vs. San Diego.
Say Something Nice About Each of Us
0 (Roquemore) - WCC Newcomer of the Year candidate. Named No. 20 Freshman nationally this season by BasketballProspectus.com in January (only WCC player in top 25 - CLICK HERE FOR THE RELEASE). Broke the Bronco freshman school record for free throws made with 100 at USF. 12 of the last 20 games he has hit double figures, including 13 vs. Gonzaga, 14 at Pepperdine, 16 at USF and 12 vs. San Diego. Dished out a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and scored a career-high 18 points vs. Northern Colorado.
01 (Payne) - WCC Defender of the Year candidate. After starting 40 straight games, gave up his starting role for 11 games before earning it back prior to the Zags game. Backed it up in Gonzaga game when he scored a then-season-high 11 points and then aded nine points and nine rebounds vs. Portland. Career-high 6 steals three times this year. Has had 15 games this season with 6+ rebounds. Last season in his first 27 games that had happened eight times. Second career double-double vs. USD (10/10).
03 (Cunningham) - Hasn't played in the past 10 games due to a bad back. He started the previous eight games and was shooting a career-best 61.9 percent this season. (seventh-best shooting percentage in Bronco history).
04 (Perricone) - Has played in three games this season and hit his first career field goal in the first game (HBU) and a three-pointer in two games: Bethany and UCSC.
10 (Dowdell) - Tied a career-high with 22 points in the win over Portland. Previous career-high came his freshman year vs. Niagara on Dec. 29, 2007. Shot season-best 7 of 10 from the field, making 8 of 10 free throws. Has 11 games this season with 5+ rebounds and hit double-figures in five of the last eight games, including 12 vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's.
13 (Santos) - Gave SCU 16 minutes off the bench vs. Gonzaga and followed it up with 20 minutes in Portland win. Coach Keating was happy to see him healthy after suffering with a sprained hand for a couple weeks and said he had an excellent week of practice. Had season-high six rebounds and career-high four assists vs. Bethany.
14 (Gamble) - Hit his first career points with two three-pointers vs. Bethany. He put up four shots and grabbed two rebounds during that span as well. Hit two free throws in career-high six minutes vs. UC Santa Cruz.
15 (Trasolini) - Has hit double figures 11 of the last 15 games. 53 points from a career 1,000 points (would be 29th player in school history). Has 49 career double-figure games and 27 15+ point games. His five career double-doubles rank No. 1 on the team this year. Is the only player in the WCC to be named to the Capital One Academic All-District team the past two years. Sports a 3.51 GPA in Finance.
21 (Foster) - No. 22 in career points with 1,125. First sophomore in WCC history and 28th Bronco player overall to score 1,000+ career points. Named the StatSheet.com WCC POW Feb. 14 after leading the West Coast in scoring (23.0 pts ppg) (strong showing in rebounding: 3.5 rpg and three pointers: 3.5 per game). Scored a career-high 36 points in the Gonzaga win - the sixth-best ever by a Bronco in a home game. First player in school history to hit six plus threes in three games in a season. He has now done it six times this year!
22 (Mensah) - Fourth-year walk-on hit his first career free throws and first career three-pointers in the five games he has played in this year. Has already been accepted to the Law Schools at Santa Clara University and American University; and is waiting to hear back from Cornell, Georgetown, George Washington and Howard.
24 (Clarke) - Has only played in three games early due to a foot injury.
25 (McArthur) - His 11 rebounds vs. Santa Cruz were the most for a Bronco freshman since John Bryant snagged 13 vs. Portland on Jan. 7, 2006. After being named the Bay Area Player of the Year out of famed De La Salle last year, he has played 8.8 mpg where he has collected 3+ rebounds in seven games, playing double-digit minutes eight times including 19 vs. Houston Baptist, 16 important minutes in the Gonzaga win and 25 vs. UC Santa Cruz.
31 (Harrison) - Scored a season-high 12 points at Pepperdine, his first time in double figures this season after hitting double figures nine times last season.
33 (Bach) - Carrying a 3.48 grade point average in Marketing, he has come off the bench in four games this season, including 12 minutes vs. Bethany where he dished out a career-best four assists. Scored career-high 9 points in career-high 14 minutes vs. UC Santa Cruz.
42 (Cowels) - Starting in nine games this season and 20 throughout his two-year career, Cowels hit a season-high four threes vs. Northern Colorado and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line vs. Washington State. He scored a career-high 24 points vs. NCAA Tournament-bound Wofford last season, hitting five threes.
44 (Atanga) - The Yaounde, Cameroon native is being red-shirted this season.
Foster Named WCC Player of the Week Twice; 19+ = 30
After putting up a league-best 36 points in the 85-71 victory over Gonzaga on Jan. 20 and then scoring his 1000th career point two days later in the 72-59 win over Portland on Jan. 22, Kevin Foster was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Jan. 24. It was the second time he was named WCC Player of the Week this season (Dec. 6 was the other). The Gonzaga-Portland series he averaged 53.6 percent from the floor, including 45.0 percent from the three-point line and 84.2 percent from the free throw line.
In the 14-point win over Gonzaga, its worst loss to a WCC opponent in the regular season since 1999, Foster scored a career-high 36 points, hitting six three-pointers. His 36 points were the sixth-best in school history at home. He was also 8 of 10 from the free throw line, adding five assists and two steals. With his parents in the stands, Foster scored his 1,001th career point on a three at 1:36 in the first half vs. Portland. He was 8 of 9 from the free throw line, tying a season-high with three steals.
Foster was nicknamed 'Microwave' by his father during his youth the Detroit Piston's Vinnie Johnson. Johnson earned the nickname 'the Microwave' from Boston Celtics guard Danny Ainge for his ability to score many points in a short period of time, heating up the offense. He has scored 15+ points in 41 of 66 career games and he has scored 19+ in 30 career games. The 19+ games follow:
Opponent/Date Points (3s made)
1. vs. Arizona/Nov. 25, 2008 21 (5)
2. vs. Belmont/Dec. 29, 2008 24 (3)
3. at Harvard/Jan. 2, 2009 20 (4)
4. at Saint Mary's/Jan. 9, 2009 31 (5)
5. at Portland/Jan. 17, 2009 20 (3)
6. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2009 20 (3)
7. vs. Saint Mary's/Feb. 7, 2009 26 (4)
8. at LMU/Feb. 14, 2009 26 (5)
9. at USF/Feb. 21, 2009 20 (2)
10. vs. Gonzaga/Feb. 26, 2009 20 (3)
11. vs. San Diego/March 7, 2009 21 (4)
12. at CSUB/Nov. 13, 2009 21 (3)
13. vs. Menlo/Nov. 19, 2009 19 (4)
14. at Pacific/Nov. 22, 2009 22 (5)
15. vs. Fresno State/Nov. 28, 2009 25 (5)
16. vs. CSU Bakersfield/Nov. 12, 2010 19 (4)
17. at Southern California/Nov. 15, 2010 26 (4)
18. vs. Bethune-Cookman/Nov. 21, 2010 21 (6)
19. vs. Northern Colorado/Nov. 23, 2010 19 (4)
20. vs. UC Santa Barbara/Dec. 4, 2010 25 (6)
21. at San Jose State/Dec. 10, 2010 26 (3)
22. vs. Washington State/Dec. 19, 2010 29 (4)
23. at CSU Northridge/Dec. 22, 2010 22 (2)
24. vs. Bethany/Jan. 3, 2011 19 (6)
25. vs. USF/Jan. 8, 2011 26 (8)
26. vs. Gonzaga/Jan. 20, 2011 36 (6)
27. vs. Portland/Jan. 22, 2011 19 (3)
28. vs. LMU/Jan. 29, 2011 28 (3)
29. vs. Saint Mary's/Feb. 10, 2011 25 (4)
30. vs. San Diego/Feb. 12, 2011 21 (3)