November 12, 2011

Basketball Opens Season With 14 Threes in Win Over UC Merced

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With three Bronco players knocking down four threes or more, Santa Clara defeated UC Merced 80-48 in its season opener in the Leavey Center on Friday night.  The Broncos move to 16-1 when scoring 80+ points under Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.  The 14 threes made by the Broncos were a high under Keating and the most since the Broncos made 15 vs. Gonzaga on March 5, 2001.  Kevin Foster led the charge with five threes for 17 points and six assists as well. Foster led the country with 140 threes last season.  Evan Roquemore and Brandon Clark chipped in four threes each.

The 14 threes made by the Broncos were a high under Keating and the most since the Broncos made 15 vs. Gonzaga on March 5, 2001.  Kevin Foster led the charge with five threes for 17 points and six assists as well. Foster led the country with 140 threes last season.  Evan Roquemore and Brandon Clark chipped in four threes each.

Santa Clara is 1-0 and UC Merced is 0-2.  Santa Clara travels to UC Santa Barbara for a 7 pm contest on Tues., Nov. 15 before returning home for a 7 pm contest with cross-town rival San Jose State on Sat., Nov. 19.

"We scored 45 points on 36 attempts.  That is what the three will do for you," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating who is now 5-0 in season openers.  

Looking forward to UCSB, Keating already thinks highly of the Gauchos. "We expect them to win their conference and that is what we want to do, play teams that are going to win their conference in the preseason."

The 17 points in the first half were the fewest vs. the Broncos since Cal State East Bay scored 18 vs. Santa Clara in its 68-40 win on Nov. 14, 2008.

Santa Clara shot 44.8 percent (30 of 67), including 39.9 percent from beyond the arc (14 of 36).  They collected 56 rebounds, 19 assists, six blocks and seven steals.  They shot 60.0 percent from the free throw line (6 of 10).

Individually, Foster led the Broncos with 17, shooting 5 of 13 beyond the arc.  He also had a game-high six assists.  Foster led the country with 140 three pointers last season.  Evan Roquemore scored 16, including 4 of 5 from three point range.  In his Bronco debut off the bench Brandon Clark had four threes for 12 points (4 of 4).   In his Bronco debut Yannick Atanga led the Broncos with 12 rebounds off the bench and John McArthur and Niyi Harrision added six boards each.

Roquemore was asked what led to the barrage of threes. "We were making the extra passes, finding the open man.  We were knocking down shots we hit everyday in practice."

B. Clark was also excited about the team's performance and remarked "we were trusting in each other."

UC Merced shot  25.4 percent (15 of 59), including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 21).  They collected 32 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and 16 turnovers and 10 steals.  They shot 52.6 percent from the free throw line (10 of 19).

Individually, the Bobcats were led by Anthony Shepard's 14 points.  Aki Chambers scored 12 points.

Foster hit the first basket of the year, appropriately, a three at 19:26.  Cowels scored a two under the basket at 18:30. Foster made his next three attempt at 16:39. Roquemore followed with another three at 16:03 and a bucket at 14:26 to put SCU up 13-0.

After a Merced free throw. Foster sank his third three of the night at 13:24.  Brandon Clark sank a three at 12:41 to put SCU up 19-1.  Cowels sank another three at 11:52.

Foster's fourth three came at 11:22.  Timeout 11:22.  Santa Clara led 27-1 at 10:27 on a three by Cowels.  Jordan Akwenuke's first basket came at 9:11.  Yannick Atanga's first basket came at 8:52.  Denzel Johnson danced in the lane for his second bucket at 8:02.  The Broncos led 34-1.

UC Merced made two free throws at 6:10 and started a 16-5 run with it.  McArthur scored the Santa Clara's 41st point at 1:01.  

In the first half Santa Clara shot 50.0 percent (17 of 34), including 36.4 percent (8 of 22) from beyond the arc.  They collected 29 rebounds, 10 assists, eight turnovers, two blocks and three steals.  They shot 75.0 percent from the free throw line (3 of 4).  Individually they were led by Foster's 12 points and four assists. 

In the first half UC Merced shot 15.6 percent (5 of 32), including 44.4 percent (4 of 9) beyond the arc. They collected 17 rebounds, one assist, eight turnovers and three steals.  They shot 75.0 percent from the free throw line (3 of 4).  Individually they were led by Shepard's six points.

Roquemore started the scoring in the second half with a three at 19:20.  UC Merced answered at 19:09. 

 Foster's steal resulted in a break-away two at 17:31 to put SCU up 50-23.  Roquemore crushed a three at 17:01 and then another at 16:07 to put SCU up 56-27.

B. Clark's three at 13:57 made it a 30 point lead: 59-29 Broncos.  Johnson stole the ball and scored at 13:21, 62-31 Broncos.

Harrison scored a bucket in the paint to make it 64-31 at 11:27.  Foster's fifth three came at 9:47, 68-33 Broncos.

After a UC Merced free throw, Julian Clarke scored a jumper at 8:11.  Johnson leaped in the lane for a bucket at 6:42.

In his first minutes of his Bronco career, freshman walk-on Nick Lamson of Los Gatos was fouled going up for a bucket and he sank one free throw at 1:16 to put SCU up 78-47. 

Notes: Starting for Santa Clara were sophomores Evan Roquemore and John McArthur, and juniors Kevin Foster, Niyi Harrison and Raymond Cowels III.