Santa Clara (19-13, 8-6 WCC), the No. 4 seed, will play No. 1 seed Saint Mary's (23-7, 11-3 WCC) on Sun., March 6 at 5 pm on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham making the call. Santa Clara is looking for its second straight WCC Championship semi-final win over Saint Mary's, finishing the Gaels off 63-47 on March 4, 2007. SCU is playing in the semi-finals for the second time in three years and is 2-1 on the ESPN network this year. Santa Clara lost 77-68 in 2007 to Gonzaga in the league finals. Santa Clara is looking for its 20th win of the season as well. It would be just the fourth time since 1989 that the Broncos have won 20 games in a season.
No. 3 USF will play No. 2 Gonzaga in the game immediately following the Broncos. The semi-final winners will advance to the WCC Final on Mon., March 7 at 6 pm on ESPN. The two long-time Bay Area rivals are playing for the 210th time in school history. Saint Mary's won its first meeting with the Broncos 21-18 on Feb. 26, 1910. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 131-78. The 210 meetings are the most the Broncos have faced a team in 104 years of Bronco basketball. Saint Mary's won both games during the regular season this year (at 84-59 on Jan. 15; vs. 65-59 on Feb. 10). Saint Mary's swept the season series in 2010 on the way to winning the WCC title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. The two teams won on their home floors to split the series in 2008-09.
The Broncos advanced to the semi-finals with a 76-68 victory over LMU on Saturday night behind Marc Trasolini's team-high 22 points with Las Vegas native Evan Roquemore scoring a career-high 21. Kevin Foster posted 18, passing Dennis Awtrey (619, 1968-69) as the single season points scored record holder. Foster has 621 points this season.
SCU has three players in double figures in Foster (19.4), Trasolini (12.8) and Roquemore (11.6). Trasolini and Troy Payne are tied as the team's leader in rebounds (5.8), Payne leads with 1.7 spg and Roquemore is top Bronco with 3.9 apg. Roquemore shoots 82.5 percent from the free throw line and Foster makes 81.4 percent, hitting 140 free throws this season.
The Saint Mary's 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 5 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.
Kevin Foster, who leads the country in threes made per game, threes made and threes attempted, was the first WCC sophomore ever and the 28th player in school history to score 1,000 career points on Jan. 20. Marc Trasolini was the 29th player to score 1,000 career points on Feb. 26. Foster and Trasolini are the first duo to both hit 1,000 career points in the same season since then-seniors Jens Gordon and Mitch Burley did it in 1988-89. Gordon scored 522 points that season to finish his career with 1,356 and Burley scored 377 to finish with 1,258 career points.
The Foster (621) - Trasolini (397) duo have combined for 1,018 points this season, No. 6 on SCU Single Season Duo list. They are just the seventh pair to hit 1,000 points in a season. Foster is already in the top 5 list, having scored 486 points his freshman year with WCC Player of the Year John Bryant scoring 596 to put the duo at No. 4 with 1,082 points.
SINGLE SEASON TOP 10 SCORING TANDEMS
No. Players Total Year
1. Dennis Awtrey (614) and Ralph Ogden (590) 1,204 1969-70
2. Harold Keeling (585) and Nick Vanos (544) 1,129 1983-84
3. Dennis Awtrey (619) and Bud Ogden (466) 1,085 1968-69
4. John Bryant (596) and Kevin Foster (486) 1,082 2008-09
5. Harold Keeling (574) and Nick Vanos (488) 1,062 1984-85
6. Kevin Foster (621) and Marc Trasolini (397) 1,018 2010-11
7. Mike Gervasoni (522) and Bud Ogden (480) 1,002 1966-67
8. Steve Nash (565) and Marlon Garnett (382) 947 1994-95
9. Rhea Taylor (495) and Ron Reis (442) 937 1990-91
10. Doron Perkins (477) and Travis Niesen (467) 934 2004-05
Payne WCC Defensive Player of the Year,
Foster, Roquemore on All-WCC Teams
Leading the West Coast Conference in steals and fourth in rebounding, Troy Payne was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year on March 1. He is the first Bronco player to ever receive this award. Kevin Foster was named to the All-WCC First Team and Evan Roquemore was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. Foster is the 58th Bronco to be named to the First Team.
Payne led the WCC in steals during WCC games. On the road in the WCC, he grabbed six steals three times this year (at USD, at Pepperdine, at LMU). He has collected 5+ rebounds in 18 straight games, with 7+ in eight of the last 10 games. He had four double-figure rebound games in WCC play and averaged almost four deflections and three forced turnovers a game in WCC play.
Foster leads the WCC in scoring in overall (19.4 ppg) and WCC games (20.7 ppg). He is the first Bronco to lead the WCC in scoring in league games since Marlon Garnett led the league in scoring in 1997. Foster's 621 points scored this year are now No. 1 on the Bronco single season list, passing Dennis Awtrey's 619 points from 1968-69 (vs. LMU March 5). Foster leads the nation in threes made per game (3.5), threes made (113) and threes attempted (306). His 113 threes this season are No. 4 on the WCC single season bests list and he is the first Bronco to ever lead the league in threes made per game. His 51 threes in WCC play were No. 7 all-time in a season. He is No. 2 on the team this year with 3.7 apg and 1.6 spg. His 1,226 career points are No. 21 all-time for SCU and he is the first sophomore in WCC history to score 1,000 career points.
After leading all WCC newcomers in assists, points per game, threes made per game, free throw percentage and minutes per game, Roquemore was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. Named No. 20 Freshman nationally this season by BasketballProspectus.com in January (only WCC player), he started the last 24 games and leads the team with 3.9 apg. He is third with 11.6 ppg and is fourth with 1.1 spg. He averaged a team-leading 5.1 apg and 37.2 mpg in WCC games and was third on the team with 11.8 ppg. Roquemore has already broken the Bronco freshman record for assists, free throws made and free throws attempted. He is tied with Steve Nash for the best free throw percentage (shooting 82.5 % - record is 82.5 percent by Steve Nash in 1993) and No. 2 on the list in minutes played in a season (1,012, record is 1,049).
No. 1 Nationally
Santa Clara's steals streak has reached national proportions. Santa Clara's current consecutive games with 6+ steals is now the longest streak in Division I at 23 games straight. SCU has collected 10+ steals seven times during the streak. Two weeks ago the Broncos followed Louisville, Valparaiso and Houston Baptist, but all three have had their streaks snapped. See the theft numbers:
1. 23 - Santa Clara (8-8-10-6-7-10-14-6-9-6-6-7-11-14-11-6-7-8-7-11-9-8-6) (next: WCC Tourney, 3-6-11)
Santa Clara's 13 wins at home are the most it has won since it won 14 regular season games in 1987-88.
Santa Clara currently leads the WCC in steals in overall games (7.5 spg). It has only led the league in steals in overall games once: 1997 when it had 207 steals (7.7 spg).
Santa Clara's three WCC Players of the Week outright this year are the most it has had since 1994-95 when it had four (Steve Nash three times, Marlon Garnett once). John Bryant was WCC POW three times in 2008-09, but he shared it with Patty Mills of Saint Mary's once.
Santa Clara defeated CSU Northridge 99-79 on Dec. 22. The Broncos put six players in double figures. It was first time since Santa Clara defeated UC Santa Cruz at home on Nov. 25, 2002, 93-70, that it had six players in double figures. The 99 points on the road for the Broncos were the most they scored since they lost 105-103 at Portland on Jan. 25, 1980.
Santa Clara scored 90+ in two of its first 13 games of the year for the first time since it won 111-55 on Nov. 27, 1993 and then 92-74 vs. Holy Cross on Dec. 29, 1993.
Santa Clara defeated the Zags for the first time in 10 years at home (Feb. 22, 2001). The 85-71 win on Jan. 20 was the worst defeat the Zags suffered during the WCC regular season slate since 1999.
Santa Clara's win at Pepperdine was its first win in Malibu since it won 83-71 on Jan. 22, 2005. It was just the third win at Pepperdine in 17 years and only its fifth victory in Malibu in 27 years. The Broncos went on to sweep the season series with LMU and Pepperdine for the first time since 1984.
SCU's 20-point comeback in defeating USD on Feb. 12 tied the biggest come from behind victory in school history when it defeated Marquette on Nov. 29, 1996 after being down by 20 in the second half. It is only the second time in 13 years SCU has swept USD.
Trasolini Named WCC Player of the Week
Scoring his 1,000 career point Feb. 26 and leading the Broncos to their first season sweep of Pepperdine and LMU in 27 years, Marc Trasolini was named the WCC Player of the Week Feb. 28. It is Trasolini's first Player of the Week honors in his career and the third for SCU this season.
Trasolini averaged 26.0 ppg last week in victories over LMU and Pepperdine, shooting 56.7 percent and 7.5 rpg. He hit 18 of 21 free throws, shooting 85.7 percent - making the first 14 free throws vs. LMU. He was 17 of 20 from the free throw line vs. LMU. His 17 free throws were the second most-ever for a Bronco and the 20 attempts were also the second-most for a Bronco (Steve Nash was 21 of 21 vs. SMC in 1995). Trasolini also shot 10-for-15 from the field vs. Pepperdine, shooting 66.7 percent and finished league play with 12.5 ppg and 5.1 rpg, shooting almost 81 percent from the free throw line.
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
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 12 games this season, including seven of the last 12 games. Dowdell tied his career-high with 22 points vs. Portland on Jan. 22 and then scored a career-high 26 points vs. LMU on Feb. 24. He also grabbed his second career double-double vs. LMU with a career-high 14 rebounds.
Starting all 32 games this year, Dowdell is averaging 8.4 ppg and 4.7 rpg. Dowdell has posted double figures 26 times in his career: 12 times this year, five times his junior year and nine times his rookie campaign.
He has played in 122 career games with 92 career starts. He is now No. 10 in career starts. With Dowdell's play vs. LMU, he is tied with Brody Angley (2004-08) and Mitch Burley (1985-89) with 122 games played at No. 3 all-time. If he plays vs. Saint Mary's, he will own No. 3 in career games played (123)
Dowdell is No. 2 on the career fouls list with 374. He passed Kurt Rambis at No. 2 (366, 1976-80) vs. LMU.
Kevin Foster has now scored 621 points this season, breaking Dennis Awtrey's single season school record set 42 years ago (619, 1968-69). Foster has hit 113 threes this season with 306 attempts - both single season school records (broke his own records vs. Saint Mary's on Feb. 10). The WCC single season record is 126 threes made by Jeff Fryer of LMU in 1989 and Foster is No. 4 and four away from No. 3 (Dan Dickau of Gonzaga (117, 2001-02). Foster's 3.5 threes made per game are tops in the country. He is five threes to moving to No. 2 on the threes made list (225, Kyle Bailey, 2001-05). Steve Nash holds the career threes made school record with 263 (1992-96).
Looking back, Foster dropped a new career-high on the Zags with 36 on Jan. 20 (11 of 20 and 6 of 14 from 3; 8 of 10 FT). The 36 points are the sixth-most ever for a Bronco at home and the most a player has scored vs. Gonzaga since Pepperdine's Keion Bell scored 37 points on Jan. 21, 2010. Foster's career-best prior to the Gonzaga game was the 31 he scored as a freshman at Saint Mary's (Jan. 9, 2009) and his season-best was the 29 he scored in overtime vs. Washington St. on Dec. 19.
Foster crushed eight threes on Jan. 8 vs. USF and at Gonzaga on Feb. 17. The eight threes twice tied the school record set by Steve Nash (8 at Gonzaga on Jan. 19, 1995) and Mitch Burley (8 vs. Nevada-Reno, Dec. 14, 1988). Foster attempted 20 threes in the USF game, shooting 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. The attempts mark shattered Burley's school record set back in 1988 (17) and Nash's in 1995 (17). The 20 attempts also shattered the WCC record set by Jeff Fryer of LMU vs. SCU on Feb. 24, 1989 when he attempted 18.
Evan Roquemore has broken three Bronco rookie records this season: assists, free throws made and free throws attempted. All three records were set by Brian Jones in 1996-97. Jones was named the 1996 WCC Freshman of the Year and was named All-WCC twice during his career.
He has scored double figures in nine of the last 11 games, including a career-high 21 points vs. LMU on March 5. While he didn't start Senior night on Feb. 26, he had started 22 straight games after coming off the bench the first eight games of his rookie campaign Averaging 11.6 ppg, a team-leading 3.9 apg and 3.7 rpg, he had a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and at Gonzaga; and a then-career-high with 18 points vs. Northern Colorado. He has been perfect at the free throw line in 11 games this year: 6 of 6 vs. Rice, 10 of 10 vs. Northern Colorado, 6 of 6 at SJSU, 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, 6 of 6 vs. San Diego, 8 of 8 vs. LMU and 4 of 4 vs. Pepperdine.
0 (Roquemore) - WCC All-Freshman Team. Named No. 20 Freshman nationally this season by BasketballProspectus.com in January (only WCC player). Broke the Bronco freshman school record for assists, free throws made and attempted. 17 of the last 25 games he has hit double figures, including double figures the last seven of his last nine games. Dished out a career-high eight assists at Saint Mary's and at Gonzaga; and scored a career-high 21 points vs. LMU March 5. Perfect from the free throw line in 11 games.
01 (Payne) - WCC Defender of the Year. Started 40 games last year and 21 this year. Leads WCC in steals. Career-high 6 steals three times this year. Has collected 5+ rebounds in 18 straight games, with 7+ in eight of the last 10 games. Second career double-double vs. USD (10/10).
03 (Cunningham) - Hasn't played in the past 16 games due to a bad back but is available for the WCC Tournament. He had started the previous eight games and is shooting a career-best 61.9 percent this season. (seventh-best shooting percentage in Bronco history).
04 (Perricone) - Has played in 3 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) - Career-high 26 points vs. LMU, including career-high 14 rebounds. 13 games this season with 5+ rebounds and hit double-figures in scoring eight of the last 13 games. Averaged double figures in WCC play (10.5 ppg).
13 (Santos) - Played 21 minutes in win over LMU on March 5. Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer have been guest of the Santos family the last two games (family friends). Made big basket in second overtime to help seal win for SCU vs. LMU. Gave SCU 16 minutes off the bench vs. Gonzaga and followed it up with 20 minutes in Portland win. 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) - WCC Player of the Week (Feb. 28). Hit double figures 15 of the last 20 games. 29th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Has 53 career double-figure games and 30 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) - WCC First-Team. No. 21 in career points with 1,226 and No. 3 on the single season list with 621 points. First sophomore in WCC history to score 1,000+ career points. 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 eight times this year after hitting eight at Gonzaga and seven at Portland!
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 and American; and also applying to Cornell, Georgetown, George Washington and Howard.
24 (Clarke) - Will be redshirted. 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 hit his first career three at Gonzaga on Feb. 17.
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.