January 8, 2010

Santa Clara Loses to USD in First WCC Game of the Season 55-46

Jan. 8, 2010

Santa Clara, Calif.- Santa Clara fell 55-48 to San Diego in its 2010 opening game of WCC play. Santa Clara falls to 8-10 and 0-1 in the WCC while San Diego moves to 9-9 and 1-0 in WCC play.

The Broncos shot 35.4% from the field, and 22.2% from beyond the arch. The Broncos grabbed 36 rebounds, seven assists and five steals with 12 turnovers. USD shot 39.1% from the field, and 25.0% from beyond the arch. The Toreros had 28 rebounds, 11 assists, seven steals with eight turnovers.

The Toreros were led by De'Jon Jackson with 19 points and Chris Manresa scored 12 points. Matt Dorr also contributed 10 points to the win.

Leading the Broncos were Michael Santos with 12 points and Ray Cowels with 11 points. Chris Cunningham had a career-high of eight rebounds.

The Broncos were the first to get points on the board on a lay-up by Niyi Harrison off of a Torero turnover at 19:25. The Toreros responded with a Brandon Johnson lay-up at 18:47.

With 12 minutes left in the half, the Broncos entered a six-minute scoring drought that was ended by a breakaway layup by Troy Payne with 2:26 minutes left. Cowels quickly followed with a three pointer at 1:32 minutes.

The Toreros remained scoreless for five minutes until 9:29 until Matt Dorr put five points on the board. However soon after, USD went on another four-minute drought until it was ended by Mitch Wolpert at 5:26, followed by a shot by Jackson at 3:55. Jackson would end the first half with a last minute buzzer beater in the final seconds to close the scoring gap by three points, with the Broncos leading 22-19.

USD's 19 points at the half the Broncos have allowed an opponent to score during the season so far, after holding San Jose State to only 25 points on Dec. 23. It's the fewest points the Broncos have allowed an opponent to score was 17 points by the USF Dons on January 23, 2009.

For the first half, the Broncos were 10 for 22 for the field with a 45.5% field goal percentage, and 2-10 on free throws. The Toreros made 8-25 attempts to earn a 32.0% field percentage and made 2-11 three-pointers.

At the beginning of the second half, Niyi Harrison hit the opening basket for the Broncos at 19:39, while USD's Brandon Johnson made his first shot of the second half at 18:27.

Despite the Santa Clara's quick points at the beginning of the half, the Broncos entered another scoring drought after Troy Payne's free throw at 18:07. The drought would continue until Michael Santos made two free throws at 13:47, allowing the Toreros to go on a 12-0 scoring run in the meantime and lead the game 35-28 with seven minutes remaining.

The Toreros would continue to control the rest of the game, despite the Broncos' efforts to catch up, including six points by Robert Smith and a lay-up by Michael Santos. Final score of the game was 55-46, San Diego.