Santa Clara, Calif. - Going on a 7-0 run over a 46 second-span during the last two minutes of play proved to be enough for Santa Clara as the Broncos defeated Vermont 77-67 in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Buick on Tuesday night. Santa Clara advances to the second round of the CBI and will play March 25 at the winner of the Western Illinois at Purdue game, to be played Wednesday night.
Santa Clara is 22-11 and Vermont ends its season at 21-12. Santa Clara has won 22 games for just the sixth time in the 106-year school history of basketball; and 22+ games for the second time in three years, having won 24 in 2010-11 when the Broncos won the CIT.
"Vermont is a really good team. They are all a year older as prep school kids and transfers and they are well-coached," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "Marc started off slow and he typically stays slow if he starts slow, but not tonight. He really responded and showed exceptional ability as a senior. All of our seniors showed leadership ability. I thought the first team to score 70 points would win and we proved that."
On the Broncos moving on: "We are very excited to go on spring break together and we are so excited. I know all of the guys are excited and thrilled to advance."
Santa Clara shot 51.1 percent from the field (24-of-47), including 38.9 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-18). The Broncos shot 78.6 percent from the free throw line (22-of-28). They collected 29 rebounds, 16 assists, 9 steals, 6 blocks and had 12 turnovers.
Santa Clara was led by Kevin Foster, who netted 23 ponts on 8-of-14 shooting, with 5 steals and 4 assists. Marc Trasolini added 20 points and 7 rebounds while Yannick Atanga pulled down 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. Evan Roquemore scored 12 points and dished out 6 assists.
"I didn't get off to a good start," said Trasolini. "I was settling for outside shots. They aren't the biggest team so I started going inside and got to the free throw line as well. We are really excited about advancing."
Santa Clara was 21-of-26 from the free throw line in the second half, attempting more from the charity stripe in the second 20 minutes than during 20 complete games during the season.
Vermont shot 42.4 percent from the field (25-of-59), including 30.4 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-23). The Catamounts shot 66.7 percent from the free throw line (10-of-15). They collected 32 rebounds, 15 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and had 16 turnovers.
Sandro Carrissimo led four Vermont players in double figures with 14 points. Clancy Rugg added 13, Trey Blue 12 and Luke Apfeld 11.
Brendan Kilpatrick scored inside for Vermont at 19:35 to begin the game. Trasolini knocked down a three at 16:34 and then Ethan O'Day scored inside for Vermont at 16:10. Cowels III added a basket at 15:44 and then Foster scored a deuce at 14:56 to put SCU up 9-4.
Vermont went on a 5-2 run to take a 9-7 lead at 13:52. Cowels III scored from deep in the corner at 13:19, 10-9 Broncos at 13:19. Two free throws by Carissimo and a free throw and bucket by Clancy Rugg and Vermont led 14-10 at 11:23.
B. Clark stopped the run with a free throw at 11:14. Back-to-back threes by Foster at 8:47 and Roquemore at 8:21 gave the Broncos a 17-14 lead. Vermont whistled for time. A three by Blue at 7:59 tied it up, but Foster quickly responded with another three of his own at 7:44.
Rugg pulled Vermont within one with a tip-in at 11:23, but Cowels III answered with his second three of the game at 6:16 to push the lead to 23-19 Broncos. Josh Elbaum drove past two Bronco defenders for a bucket inside at 4:02 and then Rugg added another inside at 2:28 to tie it up 23-23.
Foster split the middle inside for a lay-up at 2:15 and Voelkel answered to give Vermont a 27-25 lead. Niyi Harrison scored inside on a dandy pass from B. Clark at 1:01. The teams were tied 27-27 at the half.
In the first half Santa Clara shot 40 percent from the field (10-of-25), including 46.2 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-13). The Broncos shot 50 percent from the free throw line (1-of-2). They collected 12 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, two blocks and had seven turnovers. Santa Clara was led by Foster who scored 10. Cowels III added eight. Atanga collected five rebounds and Roquemore had three assists. The Broncos substituted freely in the first half with 11 of the 12 players on the roster seeing action.
In the first half Vermont shot 45.8 percent from the field (11-of-24), including 28.6 percent from beyond the arc (2-of-7). The Catamounts shot 60 percent from the free throw line (3-of-5). They collected 18 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and had 10 turnovers. Vermont was led by Blue's eight points off the bench. Brian Voelkel grabbed four rebounds.
Vermont started the second half on a 6-2 run. Trasolini scored an and one at 17:17 to pull the Broncos within one, 33-32 SCU.
Blue scored over Foster at 16:55 and Trasolini scored inside again at 16:37. Trasolini scored his second and one of the half at 15:59 to give SCU a 37-35 lead. O'Day tipped it in at 15:37 and Trasolini matched it at 15:27. Rugg hit a pair of free throws at 14:21 to tie it 39-39.
B. Clark grabbed the offensive board, drove around three defenders to score under the basket at 13:58. After being knocked the ground on the offensive end at 13:17, Trasolini scored a pair of free throws to add his 12th point of the second half.
Vermont went on a 10-2 run to take a 49-45 lead at 11:17. Carissimo crushed a three at 12:55 and Luke Apfeld added a bucket under the basket at 12:22. Foster was whistled for a flagrant foul and Kirkpatrick sank both.
Roquemore hit a pair from the charity stripe to pull the Broncos within one at 11:50. But Voelkel's three with a second left on the shot clock pushed the Vermont lead to 49-45.
Foster's third three of the night at 10:10 once again pulled SCU within one, 49-48 Vermont. It was Foster's 410th three of his career, putting him at No. 8 all-time in NCAA history. Trasolini sank the second the back end of a pair of free throws to tie it up 49-49 at 9:27. Apfeld's basket at 9:14 quickly gave Vermont the lead again.
Roquemore's second free throw attempt was money, pulling SCU within one, 51-50 at 9:06. O'Day again scored under the bucket to make the lead three. Atanga's tip in dunk off a Foster miss got the bench and crowd off its feet at 8:29. Apfeld scored his first three at 7:55 to put Vermont up 56-52.
B. Clark started a 6-0 run of his own at 7:55. He scored a couple free throws at 7:55 and he scored on a break-out off a missed Carissimo three to tie it up 56-56. He added a pair of free throws at 6:55.
Carissimo stopped the run with a runner in the lane at 6:24. Trasolini scored on a dandy pass from Roquemore for a bucket at 5:56. Carissimo ran inside again at 4:47 to tie it up, 60-60. It was the 12th tie of the game.
Foster's eight-foot bucket at 3:36 gave the Broncos a 62-60 lead. Apfeld hit a free throw at 3:08 before Fosted dumped it in for two more, 64-61 Broncos at 2:56. It was Foster's 60th career game with 19+ points.
Blue was fouled by Foster on the next possession at 2:28 and he missed the first of a 1-1 and Cowels III grabbed the reject before Trasolini scored at 2:11 to go up 66-63.
Apfeld made one free throw and missed the second at 1:37. Atanga grabbed the rebound and was fouled at 1:31. He missed the first and made the second to put SCU up three, 67-64.
Vermont whistled for a full timeout at 1:31 and then the Broncos went on a 7-0 over the next 46 seconds that proved to be enough. Atanga's rejection of Blue and his subsequent rebound at 1:09 was huge. Roquemore was fouled and he scored both from the charity stripe, putting SCU up five - 69-64. Roquemore scored with 55 seconds left and Foster stole it on the defensive end and he was fouled. He sank both with 50.8 seconds left to put SCU up 73-64.
Ruggs 3-point play with 40 seconds left closed the gap to 73-67 but two more free throws each from Foster and Roqumore put the game away.
Kevin Foster has made 410 career threes and he moved to No. 8 all-time in NCAA history, passing Keith Veney of Lamar/Marshall who made 409 threes through 1997. He needs one three to tie Jack Leasure of Coastal Carolina at No. 7 all-time, who sank 411 during his career (2005-08). Foster has scored 19+ in 60 of his 128 career games. He has 15+ in 85 career games.
Kevin Foster started his 120th career game after setting the school record vs. LMU on Feb. 28. Foster played in his 128th game, tying No. 3 Ben Dowdell (2007-11).
Marc Trasolini and Raymond Cowels III played in their 132nd career game and already own the school record. Playing in his 123rd career game, Niyi Harrison moved to No. 7 all-time.
The game was tied at halftime, just the second time this season the Broncos were tied at the break. The first time was in their last game, a loss to LMU in the WCC Tournament.
Yannick Atanga's only field goal of the game came on a one-handed put-back slam off a missed John McArthur jumper with 8:29 left in the second half.
Vermont's Brian Voelkel was assessed a Class A technical foul at 18:38 of the second half.
It is the second time in three years and just the third time in 17 years that Santa Clara has played in the post-season. It is the 17th post-season appearance in school history (19-17: 11-13 NCAA; 2-4 NIT, 5-0 CIT, 1-0 CBI).
Santa Clara is 0-4 vs. Purdue - last playing at Purdue on Dec. 18, 2000 when the Boilermakers won 98-52. Santa Clara played Purdue in the Cougar Classic in Provo, UT on Dec. 8, 1978 dropping a 71-62 decision. The teams met in the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 28, 1985 with Purdue posting an 84-56 championship game victory. The two also squared off on Dec. 27, 1999, a 70-55 Purdue win in Santa Clara. The Broncos have never played Western Illinois.