After winning 60-42 on Thursday night at CSU Bakersfield, the Broncos travel to San Luis Obispo for a 7 pm game at Cal Poly on Sat., Dec. 7. The Broncos are 4-1 vs. the Mustangs all-time, including a 72-64 home win last year.
The Broncos are 3-4 this season and picked up their first road win in Bakersfield on Thursday night behind three Broncos in double figures: Evan Roquemore (12), Nate Kratch (11) and Jerry Brown (10). Brown and Robert Garrett, off the bench, led the team with eight boards each and Jared Brownridge dished a game-high five assists.
Cal Poly is 2-5 this season, including 1-1 at home. The Mustangs lost 73-71 to the West Coast Conference's newest member, Pacific, on Nov. 30 after defeating North Dakota 70-43 on Nov. 29. It finished play in Eugene, Ore. on Dec. 1 with an 82-61 loss to host-Oregon. The Mustangs were picked third in the Big West Conference this year.
The Cal Poly-Santa Clara game will be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM and also SantaClaraBroncos.com. Anthony Passarelli is in his seventh season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. The game will be live streamed and can be found on GoPoly.com.
With about nine minutes to go and the Bronco bigs struggling, Santa Clara went to four guards and one forward - a move that seemed to work in the two team's meeting last year on Dec. 17, 2012. "We worked to get our guards in the flow of the game more at that point. It's something we had worked on a lot in practice, but hadn't used very much in games," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "They were a good team and the undersized line-up was pretty good for us in the second half."
The Broncos were led by Marc Trasolini, who led all scorers with 24, while also tallying seven boards and three blocks. Evan Roquemore, Raymond Cowels III and Kevin Foster also scored in double figures, 16, 12 and 10, respectively.
SCU leads the all-time series 4-1 with Cal Poly, including a 4-0 record at home. Prior to last year's home win, the Broncos played Cal Poly in Santa Clara and came away with a 73-58 victory on Dec. 10, 2005.
In the only meeting at Cal Poly, the Mustangs nipped the Broncos 98-89 on Dec. 12, 2004. Current Bronco video coordinator Kyle Bailey '05 had quite the game in San Luis Obispo back in 2004. He was just two assists from a triple double. In 37 minutes, he scored 29 points, including five threes and collected 14 boards and eight assists.
Before the Broncos 60-42 win at Bakersfield on Thursday, Santa Clara lost 91-85 to North Dakota State, the eventual champion, on Nov. 29. The next night, Santa Clara's comeback story wasn't finished successfully vs. Rice. Taking the lead with 6.7 second left, after being down by as many as 12 in the second half, Santa Clara couldn't stop a slashing Keith Washington from driving to the basket for a bucket and lost 67-66. Brandon Clark was named to the Cable Car Classic All-Tournament team after scoring 47 points in two games.
The Broncos started the year by defeating Bethesda on Nov. 8, 84-39, and then defeated cross-town rival San Jose State, 89-77, on Nov. 12. They dropped an 86-73 game at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17 and fell 84-69 at Notre Dame on Nov. 22.
The Broncos have four players averaging double figures in the scoring column in the early going: Brandon Clark is scoring 17.6 ppg, Jared Brownridge adds 15.3 ppg, Evan Roquemore 12.3 and Jerry Brown 10.1 ppg. Clark had scored 21+ points in four straight games, including a career-high 32 vs. North Dakota State, before he put up 15 on Nov. 30 vs. Rice and then nine at Bakersfield. He has helped his scoring average by making 30 of 35 free throws, including 7 of 7 vs. North Dakota State and 8 of 10 at Cal State Fullerton.
Brownridge leads the Broncos in threes made (21) and attempted (46). Roquemore, who has started the past three games after missing the first three games with a back issue, leads the team with 4.3 apg. Yannick Atanga, coming off the bench in the last three games, leads the team with 1.3 bpg and is second on the team with 6.0 rpg. Atanga had the 11th double-digit rebound game of his career vs. San Jose State. He led the league in rebounds last season.
Freshman-redshirt Nate Kratch started his first game at Bakersfield and played his best game for the Broncos to date. In 26 minutes he scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds and two steals. He was a career-best 4 of 6 from the field, including a career-best 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Kratch made his first three on his first attempt in his first game for the Broncos. It should come as no surprise as Kratch comes from an athletic family! His dad, Bob, played football at Iowa and later won a Super Bowl ring with the NY Giants in 1991. His mother Kristi was a high jumper at Iowa and cleared a personal best of 5'11. His older brother Colby played tight end at Toledo University and is now a graduate assistant for the Rockets. His younger sister MacKenzie, 18, strives to be a Division I hockey player next year.
The athleticism doesn't end there for Kratch. His maternal grandmother played professional basketball for the Redheads and was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame in New York City at Madison Square Garden last year. She once scored 70 points in a high school game, something she has reminded Nate of a few times during his high school career. And finally, his paternal grandfather played baseball at Long Island University and two Kratch Uncles played football at Cornell and Central College
Jerry Brown leads the team with 6.6 rpg, including 7.3 in the last three games. He is averaging 10.3 ppg as he has started the last three games as well. Brown scored his third career double-double and his first for the Broncos with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over San Jose State. Marc Trasolini was the last Bronco to record a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds vs. Portland on Jan. 31, 2013.
Brown started his 100th career game on Nov. 30 and played at Fresno State prior to graduating last spring and coming to Santa Clara for his fifth season, a redshirt year. He is working on a Master's degree in Psychology.
Not So Much
Playing in the Rabobank Arena on Thursday night, which also serves as the home to Pacific Division Bakersfield Condors, a Edmonton Oilers farm team, Santa Clara was ice cold from the free throw line. .The Broncos were 7 of 21 (33.3 %), including 2 of 10 in the first half. The last time the Broncos shot at least 10 free throws and shot had such trouble? The Broncos lost 71-65 at Pacific on Nov. 23, 2004. In that game, they were 3 of 10, shooting 30.0 percent. The Broncos were fresh off their 77-66 victory over No. 4 North Carolina on Nov. 19, 2004.
Evan Roquemore is just the third player in school history to score 1,300+ points and collect 500+ assists. The other two were Brian Jones (1,722 points, 517 assists, 1996-01) and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (1,689 points, 510 assists, 1992-96). Nash was named the WCC Player of the Year in 1995 and '96 and Jones was a three-time All-WCC First Team honoree.
Roquemore has a chance to break five Bronco career records this year. Entering the Cal Poly game, he is tied for No. 2 in assists, No. 3 in free throws made and No. 6 in minutes played. He is also on pace to break the records for games started (94) and games played (110). The games started career record was set last year by Kevin Foster (125) and the games played record was broken last year by Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini (137).
Roquemore is tied at No. 2 with Nash with 510 assists. He needs just eight more to break the school recorded for career assists set by Brian Jones (517, 1996-01). With 423 career free throws made, Roquemore needs to make 52 free throws to break the school record of 470 set by Ken Sears in 1951-55. He is No. 4 all-time in free throw percentage at .806. Nash holds the school record at .861.
The team's lone 1,000+ career point scorer, Roquemore has started the past three games and is averaging 12.3 ppg this year. Roquemore came off the bench at 14:56 in the first half at Notre Dame for his first action this season. He missed the first three games with a back issue.
Roquemore sits at No. 17 with 1,365 career points. He needs to score 222 points to move past No. 10 Ken Sears (1,586 points, 1951-55) and 16 points to pass No. 16 Travis Niesen (1,380 points, 2002-06). Last year's Bronco team was the first team in West Coast Conference history to feature four 1,000 point career scorers. Along with Roquemore, the team had seniors Kevin Foster (No. 1, 2,423 points), Marc Trasolini (No. 5, 1,699 points) and Raymond Cowels III (No. 26, 1,090 points).
Roquemore needs to start two more games to jump into the top 10. He is No. 6 in career minutes played, passing Nash already this season, and enters the Cal Poly game with 3,519 minutes played. Foster also holds the record for minutes played with 4,212.
Career 1,000 Points Scored
1. Kevin Foster (2008-13) 2,423
2. Kurt Rambis (1976-80) 1,736
3. Harold Keeling (1981-85) 1,731
4. Brian Jones (1996-01) 1,722
5. Marc Trasolini (2008-13) 1,699
6. Steve Nash (1992-96) 1,689
7. Dennis Awtrey (1967-70) 1,675
8. John Bryant (2005-09) 1,667
9. Londale Theus (1976-80) 1,643
10. Ken Sears (1951-55) 1,586
11. Kyle Bailey (2001-05) 1,571
12. Mike Stewart (1970-73) 1,446
13. Bud Ogden (1966-69) 1,437
14. Nick Vanos (1981-85) 1,399
15. Mike Gervasoni (1964-67) 1,393
16. Travis Niesen (2002-06) 1,380
17. Evan Roquemore (2010-) 1,365
18. Jens Gordon (1985-89) 1,356
19. Marlon Garnett (1993-97) 1,346
20. Ralph Ogden (1967-70) 1,280
21. Mitch Burley (1985-89) 1,258
22. Frank Sobrero (1957-60) 1,256
23. Ron Reis (1988-92) 1,246
24. Nathan Fast (1996-00) 1,182
25. Scott Lamson (1981-85) 1,120
26. Raymond Cowels III (2009-13) 1,090
27. Brody Angley (2004-08) 1,074
28. Dan Weiss (1984-88) 1,070
29. DeWayne Lewis (1990-94) 1,032
30. Jim Young (1951-54) 1,016
31. Glen Hubbard (1972-76) 1,012
1. Brian Jones (1996-01) 517
2. Evan Roquemore (2010-) 510
Steve Nash (1992-96) 510
4. Brody Angley (2004-2008) 506
5. Eddie Joe Chavez (1974-78) 482
6. Kevin Foster (2008-13) 464
7. Kyle Bailey (2001-05) 452
8. Steve Kenilvort (1982-86) 423
9. John Woolery (1990-94) 422
10. Harold Keeling (1981-85) 344
Assist records kept only since 1973-74
Career Free Throws Made
1. Ken Sears (1951-55) 70
2. Kevin Foster (2008-13) 450
3. Evan Roquemore (2010-) 423
4. Brian Jones (1996-01) 413
5. Bud Ogden (1966-69) 385
6. Marc Trasolini (2008-13) 383
Dennis Awtrey (1967-70) 383
8. Harold Keeling (1981-85) 381
9. Mike Stewart (1970-73) 376
10. Mike Gervasoni (1964-67) 371
Brandon Clark was scoreless in the first game of the year vs. Bethesda, but he has been a tear since. Clark had a then-career high 23 points in back-to-back games vs. San Jose State and at Cal State Bakersfield. He had not scored 20 or more points his first two years, as 19 was his career best entering this season (vs. BYU, Feb. 18, 2012).
Clark added 21 at Notre Dame on Nov. 22 and on Nov. 29 he notched a new career-high of 32 points vs. North Dakota State. Clark made a career-high five of eight from beyond the arc vs. the Bisons. He was also 7 of 7 from the free throw line. But it wasn't his best game this year from the charity stripe, as he went 11 of 14 in the 89-77 victory over San Jose State on Nov. 12, 2013. Kevin Foster was the last Bronco to score 30+ on March 27, 2013 when he collected 33 in the Broncos' 81-69 victory at Wright State to advance to the CBI Final.
Clark had 21+ points in four straight games until he scored 15 points vs. Rice on Nov. 30 and then nine at Bakersfield. Looking back, Foster scored 23+ points in five straight games last year. He had 23 vs. LMU March 8; 23 vs. Vermont March 19; 34 at Purdue March 25; 33 at Wright State March 27 and 28 vs. George Mason April 1.
Clark was just the fourth Bronco since 2007-08 to score 20+ in four straight games. Foster did it twice (2013, 2011), Marc Trasolini once (2011).
Yannick Atanga is climbing up some records charts himself. He moved to No. 6 with 71 career blocks at Bakersfield, passing Brendan Graves (1994-96). He needs 23 blocks to pass No. 5 Kurt Rambis (93, 1976-80). Robert Garrett is No. 8 with 67 career blocks. Atanga has nine blocks this year to lead the team and Garrett has six.