Santa Clara defeats Menlo College in Home Opener
Nov. 16, 2009
Behind Marc Trasolini's second career double-double, the most rebounds the Broncos have collected in almost four years and the most free throws shot in almost 16 years, the Santa Clara men's basketball team opened its home season at the Leavey Center on Monday night with a 79-55 victory over Menlo College.
The Broncos, who won 84-81 at CSU Bakersfield on Friday, pushed their record to 2-0 and the Oaks opens their year at 0-1. The Broncos will play their next two games on the road at San Diego State (Nov. 19) and Pacific (Nov. 22) before returning on Wed., Nov. 25 when they face off against Northern Arizona.
Santa Clara shot 41.4 percent and collected 58 rebounds, eight blocks and eight steals. The 58 rebounds were the most for a Bronco team since Santa Clara collected 61 vs Cal State Stanislaus in a 97-53 win on Nov. 19, 2005. They were 28 of 45 from the free throw line. The 45 free throws attempted were the most Santa Clara has shot since it shot 47 vs. USF on Jan. 14, 1993.
Menlo shot 28.6 percent with 42 rebounds and 17 turnovers.
The Broncos had a balanced scoring attack with points from eight different players. Trasolini, who had 23 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, including going 8 for 10 from the free throw line, has the team's only two career double-doubles (first was Jan. 5, 2009 at New Hampshire).
Sophomore Kevin Foster had 19 points and six rebounds. Junior Troy Payne had a career-high 15 rebounds to go along with four points and four assists. Freshman Robert Smith had 13 points. Freshman Niyi Harrison added 4 points and 8 boards off the bench. Junior Ben Dowdell had six points and 6 rebounds.
In the first half the Broncos were led by Trasolini, who had 13 points and Smith, who scored eight points. Trasolini started the scoring for the Broncos with an emphatic dunk nine seconds into the game and Santa Clara never looked back. Trasolini followed up two free throws at 17:46 with a three pointer at 16:42. Michael Santos added a big three pointer at 5:22 and the Broncos went to the break up 35-26.
The Broncos came out of the intermission and quickly built on their lead in the second half. Foster and Trasolini each had a pair of buckets in the first five minutes as the Broncos increased their lead to 20 points. After shooting 23% from behind the arc in the first half, Santa Clara found its rhythm and went 4 for 9 from deep in the second half.
Brent McHone got to the line at 8:15 to cap a six-point scoring spree for Menlo that took less than 30 seconds. Kevin Foster followed Menlo's run with eight straight points of his own in less than a minute and a half, including back-to-back three pointers that put the crowd at ease at 6:31.
"We need to play harder," said Payne. "We weren't as aggressive as we should have been but we will get after it tomorrow at practice and keep working hard. Marc (Trasolini) set the tone for us and had a good game for us."