February 17, 2011

Broncos Fight, but Fall to Split Season Series with Gonzaga

 Spokane, Wash. – Coming back from 15 down in the first half to take the lead, Santa Clara didn't have enough despite Kevin Foster's eight three-pointers to top Gonzaga on its home turf as the Zags won 85-76.  The two split the season series.   Santa Clara is 16-12 and 6-5 in the WCC and Gonzaga is 18-9 and 8-3 in the WCC.  Santa Clara now travels to Portland for a 5:30 pm game on Comcast Northwest on Sat., Feb. 19. Portland fell 82-73 to USF tonight.
"I am proud of our effort. We battled back in the first half to take the lead and then through some foul difficulty in the second half as well  This place has proven to be one of the toughest places to play in the conference and we really have to have everybody playing at their highest level. We had a couple guys who were and a couple guys who weren't. We need to get that corrected and get ready to move forward to play Portland on Saturday," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.

Santa Clara shot 32.8 percent from the field (21 of 64), including 41.4 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 29).  Santa Clara collected 37 rebounds, 13 assists, seven steals and two blocks.  The Broncos shot 78.6 percent from the free throw line (22 of 28) and had 13 turnovers. Gonzaga shot 53.7 percent from the field (29 of 54), including 42.9 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 14).  Gonzaga collected 41 rebounds, 15 assists, six steals and nine blocks.  The Bulldogs shot 67.7 percent from the free throw line (21 of 31) and had 13 turnovers. 

With its 19th straight game with 6+ steals, Santa Clara steals streak only trails Houston Baptist nationally as the Huskies collected 6+ tonight vs. NJIT Thursday night.

Individually Santa Clara was led by Kevin Foster's 27 points, including eight threes (he hit his first 5 of 5). His eight threes tied his own school record, held with Mitch Burley (8 vs. Nevada on 12-14-88) and Steve Nash (8 at Gonzaga on 1-19-95).  (see notes at the bottom for more).  Evan Roquemore scored 16 points, Ben Dowdell had 10 as did Marc TrasoliniNiyi Harrison and Troy Payne both had seven rebounds each with Roquemore tying his career-high with eight points.

For the Zags, Marquise Carter scored 20, Steven Gray 14 and Elias Harris 10. 

In the first half Stephen Gray and Goodson hit back-to-back baskets with Goodson also connecting on a pair of free throws at 18:00.  After Gray was whistled for a foul on the offensive end, Ben Dowdell scored on a sweet pass by Trasolini.

Carter then hit a three at 16:56.  The teams traded baskets with Trasolini connecting and the Zags moving ahead 14-4 when Keating whistled for time at 15:43.  Foster connected on a three at 14:33.

Trasolini connected on a pair of free throws after Robert Sacre did the same to make it 16-9 Zags at 13:50.

Foster hit a pair of free throws to make it 18-11 at 13:06.  The Zags made the lead 22-11 on back-to-back jumpers before Raymond Cowels III hit one under the basket.

Down 30-15 at 9:36 after two straight Zags threes, Santa Clara went on a 10-0 run on three straight threes by Foster and a free throw (4 for 4 from 3 thus far).  Timeout Zags at 9:04. 

The two Bronco rookies on the floor, John McArthur and Roquemore, both hit a pair of free throws to make the Bronco run 14-0 before the Zags stopped it with a bucket.  Just as quickly, McArthur hit his first career three to tie it up 32-32 at 7:04 (17-2 Bronco run). 

Raymond Cowels III crushed a three to make it 35-32 before Sacre hit two more free throws, 35-34 Broncos at 5:43.  Gonzaga made two of five free throws to take a 36-35 lead at 4:14.  

Foster made it 5 for 5 from three with another at 3:05.  The Zags responded with a three to make it 41-38 at 2:51.  Trading baskets, Trasolini hit one and finished the three-point play, 43-41 Zags at 1:55.

With 22 seconds on the clock, Roquemore rebounded a Zags miss, but was off and the teams went to the lockerroom with Gonzaga leading 43-41. 

In the first half Santa Clara shot 44.4 from the field (12 of 27), including 58.3 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 12).  Santa Clara collected 12 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and one block.  The Broncos shot 100.0 percent from the free throw line (10 of 10) and had seven turnovers. Gonzaga shot 50.0 percent from the field (14 of 28), including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 10).  Gonzaga collected 19 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and four blocks.  The Bulldogs shot 76.9 percent from the free throw line (10 of 13) and had seven turnovers. 

Foster led all scorers with 18 points, hitting 5 of 5 threes. Trasolini added seven.  Kelly Olynyk had eight off the bench. 

To start the second half, Foster hit his sixth three of the game at 19:24. The Zags then went on a 12-0 run.  Roquemore's first three of the night stopped the run at 15:32.

Trading baskets, Dowdell scored on a pump-fake under the basket at 15:12.  Foster crushed his seventh three of the night to pull the Broncos within five at 13:32.  The Zags hit three straight baskets to make it 61-52 at 11:39.

Gray picked up his fourth foul and hit the bench at 11:28.  He had scored 11 points with two assists to that point.

Sam Dower picked up his third foul with a leg out on a screen of Roquemore and the freshman made both, 61-54 at 10:13.  Foster hit his eighth three at 9:25 to make it 61-57. The three tied his own school record for threes made in a game with Burley and Nash.

The Zags answered, but Trasolini hit his first three of the night, 63-60 Zags at 8:51.  Foster was whistled for his fourth foul and hit the bench at 6:33.

The teams each hit a free throw and then the Zags scored nine straight.  Trasolini fouled out at 4:40.  Stockton blocked Foster's three-pointer attempt and ran the length of the floor to score at 3:40.  Roquemore stopped the Bronco bleeding with a lay-in, 72-63 Zags at 3:15.

Dowdell and Harrison both hit pairs of free throws and made it 78-67 at 1:10.  The Broncos tied up the ball and had the possession arrow.  Dowdell was crushed by Stockton and he made both at 1:04.  78-68 Zags.

Roquemore scored over Harris and was fouled,  making the three point play, 79-72 Zags at :44.9.  Fouled by McArthur and hitting the line, Stockton, a 92.0 percent free throw shooter, missed both. 

Harris scored at :32.1 and then Roquemore scored at :26.1, 81-74 Zags. Timeout Broncos.  Roquemore fouled Carter who made both, 83-74.

Roquemore was fouled by Carter when shooting a three and he hit two, 83-76 Zags. 

Gray was fouled by Dowdell, his fifth, at :10 and he sank both, 85-76 Zags.

Notes: Foster has hit 6+ threes in seven games this season – continuing to build on a school best mark (previously it had only been done three times in a year by a single player).  With the 8 threes, he moves to a tie with four other WCC players for No. 10 on the single season West Coast Conference record list. The record is 126 by Jeff Fryer (LMU, 1989).