Santa Clara dropped a heartbreaker in the 45th Cable Car Classic 64-62 to Wagner thanks to an improbable acrobatic shot at the buzzer after coming back from 15 down in the final five minutes. Santa Clara falls to 8-5 on the year and Wagner improves to 10-3.
With non-conference play finished this season, Santa Clara will travel to the Northwest next to take on its first WCC foe, Portland, on Thurs., Jan. 5th at 8 pm and then play at Gonzaga on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 pm.
"In the last five minutes, we rallied and figured out they needed to play harder, get some stops and rebound the ball," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "In the end, we gave up one too many defensive rebounds. We have to play all the way through and it's a hard lesson to learn that way tonight."
Kevin Foster finished with 20 points to lead the Broncos. Evan Roquemore added 17 points, six rebounds and two assists while Niyi Harrison added ten points and nine rebounds. Raymond Cowels III added a career-high nine rebounds and nine points.
Foster has now amassed over 1,600 points in his career. Foster's 20 points give him 1,613 for his career, good for 8th all-time in SCU history.
Wagner was led by Latif River's 17 points. Jonathon Williams added 13 points and five rebounds while Murray added 10 points and 3 boards. Folahan added seven rebounds.
Santa Clara shot 39.2 percent (20 of 51) from the field, including 53.8 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 13). The Broncos collected 35 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and three blocks. They shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line (15 of 21) with 13 turnovers.
Wagner shot 35.8 percent (24 of 67) from the field, including 35.0 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 20). The Seahawks collected 43 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and three blocks. They shot 81.8 percent from the free throw line (9 of 11) with 11 turnovers.
Foster began the game hot, nailing three three's to start to give the Broncos a quick 9-4 lead. Rivers hit a short for Wagner, but Harrison converted a jump hook to answer. After Harrison free throws, Williams finished a put-back to cut the Broncos lead to 13-8. Parker converted a second chance opportunity but Roquemore responded with an acrobatic and-one on the other side.
Yannick Atanga pulled down an impressive offensive board and converted inside but Wagner rattled off four straight points to pull within one. Harrison hit a tough fade in the post and Foster hit a left handed floater in the lane to push the Broncos lead back to 22-17 at 5:15.
After Murray buried a three Cowels III hit a mid range jumper to push the lead back to four. The Seahawks drilled another three, but Brandon Clark converted a lay up despite being knocked to the floor. Rivers hit a three to tie the game, but Harrison got to line and converted both.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 38.5 percent (10 of 26) from the field, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 6). The Broncos collected 19 rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks. They shot 55.6 percent from the free throw line (5 of 9) with seven turnovers. Wagner shot 28.6 percent (10 of 35) from the field, including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 13). The Seahawks collected 22 rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. They shot 100.0 percent from the free throw line (2 of 2) with five turnovers. The Broncos were led by Kevin Foster's 11 points while Niyi Harrison added eight points in the first half. Murray and Williams led Wagner with six points while Rivers chipped in five.
The Seahawks opened the second half on a 9-0 run over the first five plus minutes. Roquemore ended the run with a free throw but Williams finished a tough lay up wit the left hand over Atanga. Foster responded with a right handed floater off glass and Roquemore hit a double clutch runner to cut the Seahawks lead to 4 at 13:16.
The Seahawks would respond, as Thompson converted a bucket at the other end and Martin knocked down a three on the long rebound to push the lead back to nine. Clark hit a step back jumper but Thomposon responded with a mid range jumper of his own.
The Seahawks and Broncos swapped buckets for the next couple minutes until Wagner strung together back to back baskets to push their lead to 50-37. Foster found Cowels III on the left wing for three and the teams swapped buckets to keep the lead at 10. Rivers buried a three from the left side and Murray knocked down two free throws.
Despite being down 15, the Broncos were not done. The Broncos put together a 14-2 run highlighted by five from Foster over the next 2:27 to get within three at 2:03.
Williams converted from the inside, but Roquemore knocked down a pair to keep the Seahawk lead at just three. After a Seahawk layup, Roquemore converted a three while being fouled. Roquemore stepped up and smoothly knocked down a game tying free throw at 4. After an offensive rebound, Ortiz hit a falling out of bounces shot along the baseline to win it.
Notes: Wagner's Latif Rivers was named the MVP. All-Tournament team: Jonathon Williams and Naofall Folahan of Wagner, Kevin Foster and Niyi Harrison of Santa Clara and Todd Fletcher of Air Force. Raymond Cowels III was named the Sixth Man Award. Kenneth Ortiz won the Inspirational Award.