Playing its fifth-straight game vs. a Canadian collegiate team after its foreign tour to Vancouver in early September, Santa Clara defeated Ryerson 91-60 on Friday night in its lone exhibition. Bronco head coach Kerry Keating is 5-0 in exhibition openers.
Santa Clara opens the 2011-12 regular season with UC Merced on Fri., Nov. 11 at 7:30 pm in a doubleheader with the women. The Bronco women play CSU Bakersfield with a 5 pm tipoff scheduled.
With the new white uniforms stating BRONCOS on the chest and their last names on the back, starting for Santa Clara were freshman Brandon Clark, junior Kevin Foster, sophomore John McArthur, junior Raymond Cowels III and freshman-redshirt Yannick Atanga.
Ryerson, hailing from Toronto, Canada, was 4-4 entering the game with the Broncos. Ryerson moves on to play an exhibition on Saturday at Stanford on its six-day road trip to the Bay Area.
"Some of the freshmen stepped up and did some good things. They made open shots," said Keating. "Overall it was a good learning experience. We have a week now before the UC Merced game. We just have to make sure to teach them how to play without fouling. We have to be better at guarding the ball and getting to gaps. It's hard sometimes for a young team, let alone an older team to maintain their focus when they know the game is well in hand, but then again the freshmen have to relish these opportunities that they have."
Individually for Santa Clara was led Julian Clarke, a Toronto, Canada native. J. Clarke scored 19 points (5 of 7 from three) off the bench. B. Clark and Denzel Johnson added 14 each with B. Clark scoring 4 of 4 from beyond the arc. McArthur and Atanga both scored 10 each. Jordan Akwenuke grabbed 11 rebounds. Foster scored nine points, but was 1 of 11 from the three. B. Clark and Foster both added seven assists and Foster had three steals.
Ryerson shot 29.2 percent (14 of 48) from the field, including 31.3 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 16). The Rams collected 37 rebounds, eight assists, eight steals and three blocks. They shot 75.0 percent from the free throw line (27 of 36) with 22 turnovers.
Ryerson was led individually by Afeworki Gebrekerestos who scored 17. Aaron Best added 13. Luke Staniscia grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench and three Rams had four assists each.
To start the game Foster's missed three was rebounded by Atanga who put it in for two. Santa Clara stole the ball twice from the Rams.
Jordon Gauthier scored two free throws for Ryerson at 18:21. Clark banked one off the glass for two at 18:01. Clark followed that with a three at 17:37.
After a Ryerson free throw, Julian Clarke, Robert Garrett and Denzel Johnson replaced B. Clark, Cowels and McArthur at 16:22.
J. Clarke scored a three at 15:52 against his hometown Rams team. Jordan Akwenuke checked in at 15:20. Foster passed a beauty to J. Clarke and he drained his second three, 13-6 Broncos.
Foster scored a two and then came down and stole the ball. Gebrekerestos drained a three at 12:53 before McArthur and then Foster answered inside to make it 19-9 Broncos. The Rams crushed another three, but again McArthur answered inside.
Karim York checked in at 10:41 after a timeout. After a Rams free throw, McArthur scored inside again, 23-13 Broncos at 9:11.
J. Clarke crushed his third three of the half to put SCU up 26-13 at 7:02.
Foster started the game 0-8 from the three and finally hit one at 4:47 in the first half. B. Clark answered and then the Rams did as well with SCU up 31-22 at 4:14.
Akwenuke scored under the basket at 4:02. Johnson scored on a finger roll at 3:02. SCU up 35-24.
The Rams scored a three at 1:47 and then B. Clark scored a pair of free throws to make it 37-27 Broncos at 1:11.
Johnson drained a big three from the key and York scored a three-point play to put SCU up 43-29 at :38.3 – the score at the half.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 44.7 percent (17 of 38) from the field, including 28.6 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 21). The Broncos collected 20 rebounds, 10 assists, seven steals and one block. They shot 50.0 percent from the free throw line (3-6) with three turnovers.
B. Clark and J. Clarke both added nine points in the first half. Akwenuke led with seven rebounds to Atanga's five. B. Clark and Foster both had five assists and Foster had three steals.
Ryerson shot 25.0 percent (6 of 24) from the field, including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 10). The Rams collected 23 rebounds and three assists with zero blocks or steals. They shot 86.7 percent from the free throw line (13 of 15) with 11 turnovers.
Gebrekerestos led the Rams with 15 points. Logan Marrast had eight rebounds off the bench. Adegboruwa had four assists.
To start the second half Atanga blocked the Rams shot. B. Clark dropped in two free throws and McArthur hit a 10-footer on a dandy pass from Cowels to put SCU up 47-29 at 18:52. Johnson flew in from the side to dump it in, 53-31 Broncos at 16:53.
J. Clarke sank his fourth three of the night at 16:17. 56-31 Broncos. Johnson scored a three-point play at 15:49.
Up 59-33, Santa Clara played five freshmen (B. Clark, J. Clarke, Garrett, Akwenuke and Johnson) for four minutes. Redshirt freshmen Atanga replaced Garrett at 13:31 and he scored immediately, 63-36 Broncos.
Atanga thrilled the crowd with a monster dunk at 9:52 – 68-38 Broncos. And then he scored a reverse under the basket at 9:15.
Cowels scored a three-point play at 7:42 to put SCU up 75-46.
Phillip Bach checked in for the first time at 7:33. Bach's fancy pass to Johnson resulted in two at 6:32.
B. Clark put the ball in for three at 3:52; SCU led 84-51. York added two to make it 91-56 Broncos at 1:03.
Notes: Sophomore Evan Roquemore served a one game suspension for not fulfilling academic requirements. Junior Niyi Harrison was not in attendance due to illness. Senior Marc Trasolini is out all season with a knee injury he suffered in early September.