SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to force a rematch of the 2011 Cable Car Classic title game, the Santa Clara basketball team took down Alcorn State 70-58 in the first round of the 46th Annual Cable Car Classic. The win puts Santa Clara at 10-2 while Alcorn State drops to 2-10. The Broncos will take on Wagner in the title game Saturday at 8:15 p.m. while the Braves will take on SMU in the consolation game at 6 p.m. Santa Clara fell 64-62 in last year's final and last won the Cable Car Classic in 2008.
"It's a unique opportunity for us to play Wagner again tomorrow night for the championship. We look forward to the challenge," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "We didn't shoot the ball well and had some lapses tonight so we are excited about playing again tomorrow night."
Marc Trasolini led the Broncos with 24 points on 9-13 shooting and 11 rebounds. It was his second double-double in the past three games and the eighth of his career.
"Marc stepped up for us tonight," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "He scored down low and got to the free throw line. He was a bright spot."
Kevin Foster scored 12 points with four assists and two steals and Brandon Clark tallied 14 points with three assists. "Brandon brought some nice energy for us off the bench as well tonight," said Keating.
Santa Clara shot 38.7% (24-62) from the field while forcing 20 turnovers. Alcorn State shot 30.4 percent (17 of 56), including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 13).
Marquiz Baker led the way for Alcorn State with 23 points and Ian Francis grabbed 11 boards.
The Broncos opened the scoring in fantastic fashion with an alley-oop from Roquemore to Trasolini to give Santa Clara the early 2-0 lead one minute into the game.
Alcorn State scored its first point on a free thrown by Francis at the 18:39 mark to make the score 2-1 Santa Clara.
Kevin Foster made his second bucket of the game on a deeper jumper to put the Broncos ahead 6-4.
Roquemore made a steal and took the ball to the other end himself where he made a layup while being fouled. Roquemore missed the free throw so the lead moved to 8-4.
Alcorn State made its first field goal, a three by Baker, at 13:54 to get within one point at 8-7.
The Braves took a 9-8 lead on two free throws by Baker but Denzel Johnson made a runner in the lane to put Santa Clara back on top by one.
Trasolini slammed one home coming out of an Alcorn State timeout to put Santa Clara back up by three at 14-11. The next trip down the court Brandon Clark hit a three from the top of the key to give the Broncos their biggest lead of the game at 17-11.
Santa Clara went on a 7-0 run over 1:27 before Stephane Raquil made a jumper to get the score to 19-13.
The Braves went on a 10-0 run to take the lead over nearly four minutes that included a fast break layup and free throw by Baker to get the game within one point at 21-20. The run made the score 23-21 Alcorn State before Ray Cowels III made a free throw at 3:54 to cut the deficit to one at 23-22.
Roquemore nailed a three after a defensive stop to put the Broncos back on top by two with under three minutes remaining in the first half. The next trip down the floor Roquemore hit another three, this one from the corner, that gave Santa Clara a 28-24 lead.
After Brandon Clark hit another Bronco three, Alcorn State held the ball for the final shot but turned it over giving Santa Clara five seconds before the end of the half. Roquemore and a three go in and out and at the half Santa Clara held a 31-26 lead.
The Broncos were led on offense by Trasolini who had 10 points and Roquemore who added eight. Trasolini led the team with five rebounds while Robert Garret had four. Santa Clara shot 35.1% (13-37) from the field and nailed four three pointers. The Bronco defense held Alcorn State to just 27.6% (8-29) from the field but the Braves stayed in the game by going 9-13 from the free throw line.
Alcorn State got the ball out of halftime and Baker drained a three to cut the Bronco lead to two at 31-29.
Santa Clara answered with a pair of free throws from Cowels III and two by Trasolini to push the lead out to 35-29 a minute into the second half.
Roquemore and Trasolini hooked up for their second alley-oop of the game to push Santa Clara's run to 6-0 over a minute.
Foster had a three rim out but Roquemore made a nice steal and fed Garret who jammed it home and was fouled on the play but was unable to connect on the free throw. The ball went out off of Alcorn State and Santa Clara retained possession.
The Broncos' run would end up being 14-0 over 4:36 and they would build a 45-29 lead before Alcorn State finally scored on a free throw by Josh Nicholas to make the score 45-30.
Foster nailed his first three pointer of the game at the 13:48 minute mark in the second half and followed with a steal and coast to coast layup to put the Broncos up 18 points at 50-32.
The Broncos took their first 20-point lead of the game at 6:25 on a layup in the lane by Clark. The bucket put the score at 61-40 Santa Clara.
Trasolini knocked down two free throws with five minutes remaining in the game to make the score 63-43 Santa Clara. The second free throw was the 1,300th point of Trasolini's career.
Alcorn State cut the deficit to as low as 11 points with 1:30 remaining but Santa Clara was able to hold on for the 70-58 win.