Nov. 14, 2008
Led by John Bryant's 25th career double-double, the Santa Clara men's basketball team opened the 2008-09 campaign with a 68-40 win over CSU East Bay on Fri., Nov. 14. Bryant scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes. SCU travels to Tucson, Ariz., to play UAB in the first round of the NIT Season Tipoff Tournament on Mon., Nov. 17 at 5 pm.
The win over CSU East Bay is Bronco head coach Kerry Keating's second straight opening day win and the school's fifth in a row. Keating was happy with the win, but looks for the young Bronco team to build on the experience.
"It was a learning experience for our guys," said Keating. "They can only learn so much in practice. But they are eager, willing to learn and very competitive. Troy and James played well. It's a win. It's a good start for us and now it's all about getting ready for UAB on Monday."
The Broncos put four players in double figures with Bryant leading all scorers with 19. James Rahon scored 12, Michael Santos scored 11 and Perry Petty scored 10, adding three assists. Santos also put up four assists.
The two teams started out slow, with Santa Clara taking a 7-6 lead at 17:02. East Bay then went cold in the field, going almost seven minutes without a basket in the first half (15:02-8:37). Santa Clara took a 27-18 lead to lockeroom at halftime.
The Broncos ran started the second half on a 15-0 run, with the Pioneers not scoring until the 13:28 mark in the second half. Santa Clara's largest lead was 24 points twice (42-18 and 45-21). For quite a stretch in the second half Santa Clara played with four freshmen (Alexander, Kevin Foster, Rahon and Marc Trasolini) and one sophomore (Ben Dowdell).
Santa Clara turned the ball over 20 times to the Pioneers 17 times. The Broncos shot 59.6% to CSUEB's own 29.4% effort. Santa Clara doubled up on the Pioneers rebounding effort, grabbing 40 to East Bay's own 20.