SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Paced by senior Marc Trasolini's sixth double-double of the season, Santa Clara clipped Portland's wings on Thursday night, winning 70-46. It is Santa Clara's fifth straight win. Shooting just 25.0 percent on the night, Portland didn't score its first field goal until 8:33 in the first half.
Santa Clara is 17-6 and 5-3 in the West Coast Conference. Portland is 8-15 and 1-7.
The Broncos travel to BYU (17-6 and 7-2 WCC) on Sat., Feb. 2 for 6 pm game on BYUTV. The Cougars defeated a pesky Pepperdine team 63-61 in Malibu Thursday night. The Broncos return home to host Saint Mary's on Thurs., Feb. 7 in an 8 pm contest on ESPN2.
The Broncos were led by Trasolini, who scored 23 points on 11 of 17 shooting from the field with 13 boards, two assists and two blocks. In his second start of the season, sophomore Yannick Atanga tied a career-high with 13 rebounds, while adding four points and two blocks.
Raymond Cowels III scored 11 points and is now 42 points from scoring 1,000 in his career (he has 958 career points). Santa Clara will be the first team this year with four 1,000 point scorers on its active roster.
The Broncos' leading scorer Kevin Foster scored 10 points with five assists and two steals, including a single three. Brandon Clark scored 15 points, including 4 of 6 from the field. Evan Roquemore led all players with six assists and added three points.
Santa Clara shot 50.0 percent from the field (26 of 52), including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 18). They shot 80.0 percent from the free throw line (12 of 15). The Broncos collected 40 rebounds, 16 assists, five steals, six blocks, and had 18 turnovers.
Portland shot 25.0 percent from the field (13 of 52), including 16.7 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 12). They shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line (18 of 21). The Pilots collected 26 rebounds, eight assists, 10 steals, zero blocks, and had 17 turnovers.
Santa Clara struck first with a one-handed dunk from Trasolini. After trading missed field goals, Cowels III sunk a triple from the corner to give the Broncos a 5-0 advantage. Trasolini hit a mid-range jumper to extend Santa Clara's lead to seven. On the Bronco next possession, Foster pulled up and knocked down a long jumper to add to the lead that put Santa Clara up 9-0 entering the first media timeout.
Derrick Rodgers scored a pair of free throws to give Portland its first points of the game. Cowels III responded with his second three-pointer of the game that extended Santa Clara's lead to 12-2. Following a Portland turnover, John McArthur grabbed an offensive board and was fouled. McArthur sunk two from the charity stripe and then Rogers added two more from the free-throw line to cut the Broncos' lead to 10. However, Clark knocked down triples on two consecutive Santa Clara possessions that put Santa Clara up 20-4. After a defensive stop, Foster found Trasolini in the paint for an almost too-easy two.
Trasolini excited the crowd with a two-handed jam over a Portland defender. Cowels III took advantage of a Pilot turnover with a jumper. The Pilots turned the ball over for the third time, which led to a Trasolini one-handed slam in transition that got the Santa Clara bench fired up.
Kevin Bailey added two more free throws and the Broncos were up 28-6. Portland scored a its first field goal of the game at 8:33 on a layup by Bryce Pressley. Pressley added another bucket that cut Santa Clara's lead to 28-10.
Up by 18, Foster struck from downtown to tally the Broncos' fifth three-pointer of the half. Yannick Atanga grabbed an offensive board and scored an easy bucket to extend Santa Clara's lead to 33-10.
Nicholas converted an and-one for Portland. After a Bronco turnover, Rodgers raced down the court for what he thought was an easy layup, but Roquemore came out of nowhere with an acrobatic block that brought the crowd to its feet. With 3:44 left in the half, the Broncos had built a 33-13 advantage.
Nicholas hit one more from the charity stripe and followed it up with two points in the paint on the next Pilot possession. Thomas Van Der Mars added a layup to cut Santa Clara's lead to 33-18.
With 1:05 remaining in the half, Trasolini added a free throw. With time winding down, Roquemore hit a contested jumper and the Broncos went into the half with a 36-18 lead.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 51.9 percent from the field (14 of 27), including 38.5 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 13). They shot 75 percent from the free throw line (3 of 4). The Broncos collected 20 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, three blocks and had eight turnovers.
Portland shot just 18.5 percent from the field (5 of 27) and did not convert a three-pointer (0 of 5). They shot 88.9 percent from the free throw line (8 of 9). The Pilots collected 15 rebounds, two assists, four steals and had eight turnovers.
At the halfway mark, the Broncos were led by Trasolini who scored 11 points while grabbing six boards in 17 minutes. Cowels III chipped in eight points, including two triples. Foster shot 50 percent from the field (2 of 4) while scoring five points and adding two assists and a steal.
The Pilots were led by Nicholas who notched six points and four rebounds.
Portland struck first in the second half with two points in the pain from Van Der Mars. Roquemore hit one from the free throw line before Atanga grabbed his third offensive rebound of the game and found Trasolini who hit a jumper to put Santa Clara up 39-20.
Trasolini hit another jumper to extend the Bronco lead to 21 with 18:16 in the second half. After a defensive stop, Trasolini used a quick spin move and hit an easy layup. Rogers answered with a layup for Portland, but Foster converted on an and-one.
Atanga swatted Bailey and Trasolini score again to put Santa Clara up 48-22. Nicholas hit a triple and the Broncos held a 23-point cushion, 48-25, with 16:11 remaining.
After three minutes of scoreless basketball, Trasolini scored his 21st point of the contest with an easy two inside. B. Clark added two more on a floater that extended Santa Clara's lead to 52-27. Nicholas responded with a triple from the top of the arc.
Ahead 52-35 with 10 minutes left, Foster found Trasolini with a bounce pass that Trasolini dunked.
After the Pilots scored, B. Clark jumped in front of a Pilot pass and raced the length of the court for a fastbreak layup.
After a media timeout, Cowels III knocked down his third triple put the Broncos up 59-30 with 6:14 remaining.
Fan favorite and fourth-year walk-on Kyle Perricone scored o a jumper with 1:03 left in the game.
Santa Clara would continue to squander the Portland offense and cruised to a 70-46 victory.
Kevin Foster has started 110 career games now. With two more starts he will pass Brody Angley at No. 2 (111, 2004-08) and with seven more starts, he will pass school record holder Brian Jones (116, 1996-01).
Playing in their 122nd career game, Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini have moved into a tie for No. 4 with Brody Angley (2004-08) and Mitch Bailey (1985-89).
Raymond Cowels III is now No. 5 all-time with 193 threes, passing Ethan Rohde (2002-05) with 192 threes.
Portland missed their first 15 field goals attempts and didn't score until 8:33 in the first half.
Santa Clara has now allowed fewer than 20 first-half points five times this season.
Portland's 18 first-half points were its lowest total this season.
Marc Trasolini was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team earlier in the day. It is his third straight year of competition he has been named to the team. Trasolini, a Senior CLASS nominee, graduated Cum Laude with a 3.62 GPA in Finance from the prestigious Leavey School of Business in March 2012. Trasolini, who was granted a fifth year this year after tearing his ACL, is now in his fourth quarter of work on his MBA in the Leavey School of Business, which is ranked No. 19 nationally (MBA), and he boasts a 3.56 GPA.