SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In front of a passionate crowd, Santa Clara's offensive attack overpowered Simpson 106-66. The offensive fireworks were highlighted by Kevin Foster's seven three-pointers, including five in a three-minute span during the second half.
The Broncos now travel to the Midwest to battle St. Louis in Santa Clara's opening game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Saint Louis junior forward Dwayne Evans led four players in double figures with 21 points as the Billikens defeated USC Upstate 76-59 at Chaifetz Arena Friday night. It was the season opener for both squads.
Santa Clara (1-0) was led by Foster who tallied 27 points including the lights-out performance from downtown. Foster finished 7-15 from behind the arc. Foster is now 19 points from breaking the long-time career scoring mark set by Kurt Rambis in 1980.
Robert Garrett had a career night. He posted career bests in both points and rebounds, 14 and seven respectively. In total, 11 Broncos scored, including four in double figures.
"Obviously we are happy to get back on the winning track," said Santa Clara head coach Kerry Keating. "It was nice for everyone to get a chance to score and for us to take care of the ball. It was good to get everyone out on the floor and put ourselves in a position to win like that."
Simpson (1-4) was led by Guy Varskek who scored 23 including, three triples. Jonnie Washburn also added 13 for the Red Hawks.
Santa Clara shot 50 percent (39 of 78) from the field, including 41.2 percent from beyond the arc (14 of 34). The Broncos collected 41 rebounds, 27 assists, 11 steals and nine blocks. They shot 51.9 percent from the free throw line (14 of 27) with two turnovers. Simpson shot 38.7 percent (24 of 62) from the field, including 37.5 percent from beyond the arc (9 of 24). The Red Hawks collected 37 rebounds, one steal and seven blocks. They shot 75 percent from the free throw line (9 of 12) with 20 turnovers.
The Broncos' offense heated up early with nine different players scoring in the first half.
To start the game, Raymond Cowels III led the early charge. Cowels hit a three-pointer and added a layup. Evan Roquemore added an easy bucket after forcing a turnover. At the first media timeout, Santa Clara led 12-7.
After the timeout, Santa Clara went to its bench for more offensive production. Julian Clarke came off the bench for Santa Clara hitting a jumper and a triple to give the Broncos a 20-12 lead. Robert Garrett scored on three straight possessions to push Santa Clara's lead to 26-14.
In less than 10 minutes, Santa Clara had scored 12 points off of seven Simpson turnovers to lead 30-14.
Simpson guard Dalton Thacher score five-straight points to cut the lead to 34-21, but Foster answered with his second three-pointer. On the Broncos' next possession, Foster added two from the charity strip to give Santa Clara a 18-point lead.
With five minutes left in the first half, Santa Clara led 36-26. Sophomore Guard Brandon Clark found John MacArthur inside for an easy basket. After Foster picked up a steal, he found Clark in transition and B. Clarke converted the easy layup.
On the next Santa Clara possession Foster's pass was tipped in the air, but Yannick Atanga grabbed it an laid down a two-handed jam that excited the crowd.
With 2:29 left in the half, Santa Clara held a 49-31 lead. After the break, Trasolini knocked down to free throws and Guy Varsek answered for Simpson with two points in the paint. Varskek hit a quick three for the Red Hawks to cut the lead to 17.
At the half, Santa Clara led 53-36.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 50 percent (21 of 42) from the field, including 22 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 18). The Broncos collected 17 rebounds, 14 assists, eight steals and five blocks. They shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line (7 of 9) with one turnover. Simpson shot 42.4 percent (14 of 33) from the field, including 46.2 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 13). The Red Hawks collected 21 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks. They were perfect from the free throw line (2 of 2) with 12 turnovers.
After trading scoreless possessions to open the half, Santa Clara got on the board with a Trasolini jumper in the paint. Cowels III hit three-pointers on two consecutive possession to give Santa Clara a 25-point lead that forced a Simpson timeout.
Santa Clara went on a 14-2 run led by Foster who knocked down five three in just three minutes to extend Santa Clara's lead to 87-46. Garrett added a layup and Johnson hit a triple and Santa Clara's lead had grown to 40 with less than seven minutes left.
The Broncos continued to play stout defense and cruised the rest of the way to a 106-66 victory.
GAMES NOTES: Senior Niyi Harrison was held out with back spasms and is listed as day-to-day ... Starters for Santa Clara: Evan Roquemore, Marc Trasolini, Kevin Foster, John McArthur and Raymond Cowels III ... Starters for Simpson: Jonnie Washburn, Daveron Ross, Dalton Thacker, Guy Corella and Guy Varskek ... Simpson was awarded free throws before the tip-off for a Santa Clara technical foul that was assessed during warmups (dunking while the officials are out of the court).