Michael Santos and the Broncos defeat New Hampshire 71-68

Jan. 2, 2010

Final Stats

Michael Santos started his second-straight game and put up a career-high 15 points, including 4-4 from the free throw line and Ray Cowels hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to lead the Broncos in their 71-68 win over New Hampshire on Saturday. Santa Clara is now 8-8 and New Hampshire falls to 5-6.

Santa Clara will host senior Jeremy Lin and the Harvard Crimson on Mon., Jan. 4 at 7 pm. Less than 300 tickets remain for the return of Lin to the Bay Area, a Palo Alto High School graduate.

Tickets are available by calling 408-554-4660 or at the ticket office at the Leavey Center. The Leavey Center ticket office will open at 9 am on Monday and remain open until after game time. The Leavey Center is located at 500 El Camino Real in Santa Clara.

Santa Clara shot 48.9 percent from the field, including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc. Santa Clara collected 36 rebounds, six steals and five blocks with 17 turnovers. New Hampshire shot 40.6 percent from the field, including 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats collected 31 rebounds, six steals and two blocks with nine turnovers.

Robert Smith tied his career-high 17 points. Marc Trasolini added 12 points and six rebounds. Niyi Harrison finished with eight points to go along with five rebounds. Troy Alexander finished with five points and effectively handled the ball off the bench down the stretch for Broncos to give the team a big lift.

Tyrone Conley led the Wildcats with 28 points. Dane DiLiegro finished with 20 points and six rebounds.

Smith nailed a three for the Broncos only 15 seconds into the game to put the Broncos up early in the game. New Hampshire quickly took a 6-3 lead after Conley hit two shots from beyond the arc at 18:50 and 18:15. Santa Clara then went on a 10-3 run to push the Bronco's lead to 13-6. The run began with a three from Smith at 17:22 and ended with a three by Santos at 15:31.

The Wildcats stormed right back to tie the score at 17 after Conley nailed his third three of the half at 11:11. The Broncos stifled New Hampshire and went on a 12-0 run, including six points from the free throw line, to take the lead 29-17. Santos and Trasolini scored four points each for the Broncos during the run. New Hampshire countered to score five straight points, three of them coming off Conley's fourth three of the half, to cut the Bronco's lead to 27-22.

The Broncos took an eight-point lead at 1:25 after Smith nailed a jump shot from the top of the key but New Hampshire chipped away at the Bronco's lead before the half and cut the Bronco's lead to four after Diliegro's fast-break dunk. The score at the half was 33-29.

Santos struck first in the second half for the Broncos with a basket at 18:42 to put the Broncos in front by six. Diliegro scored six straight points for the Wildcats to cut the Bronco's lead to two, 37-35. Harrison and Ben Dowdell scored on consecutive possessions for the Broncos to extend their lead to 43-38 at 14:25.

After Conley nailed his fifth three of the game at 12:59, Alexander converted a three-point play at 12:18 to bring the score to 46-41 Santa Clara. Alexander made another layup for the Broncos and Smith hit two free throws to push the Broncos lead to 57-48 at 5:28.

Smith knocked down a three at 3:57 to put the Broncos up by nine but Conley hit his sixth three of the game at 3:45 to cut the score to 60-54. Smith hit a free throw and Harrison finished a layup at 2:30 put the Broncos up seven, 65-58. The Wildcats got consecutive baskets to cut the Bronco's lead to 65-62.

Santos hit two free throws for the Broncos with 49.5 seconds left to push their lead to 67-62. The Wildcats stormed back on a 6-0 run to take the lead, 68-67, with 13.3 seconds left after a basket by Chandler Rhoads.

Cowels knocked down two free throws with 4.7 seconds left to take the lead 69-68. A turnover by the Wildcats and two more free throws by Cowels with 1.6 seconds left sealed the win for the Broncos 71-68.

"I was a little nervous when I stepped to the line, but I knew I had to hit them so we could win," said Cowels with a smile.