November 19, 2009

Basketball Falls at San Diego State

Nov. 19, 2009

Final Stats

In its first game of the four-game West Coast Classic, Santa Clara fell 86-53 at San Diego State on Thursday night. Both teams move to 2-1 on the season. Santa Clara plays at Pacific on Sun., Nov. 22 at 7 pm.

"Coach Fisher has done a good job of building their program. They are like 52-9 in the last 61 home games so we knew coming in this was a tough place to play," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "They are a very experience, very athletic and very big team. We are a young team and we knew it would be a tough go playing down here, but we wanted this game. Every game is going to be a learning experience."

Santa Clara shot 27.7 percent from the field, including 21.1 percent from three point range. Santa Clara collected 37 rebounds, seven steals and four blocks. San Diego State shot 53.0 percent from the field, including 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. San Diego State collected 45 rebounds, 11 steals and six blocks. The Broncos turned the ball over 19 times to SDSUs own 14.

Individually for Santa Clara Niyi Harrison led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds. Raymond Cowels added 11 and Marc Trasolini scored 10, collecting a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks. Troy Payne had four steals, seven points and five rebounds. San Diego State put five scorers in double-figures including the game's leading scorer Billy White who had 17.

One bright spot, Santa Clara shot 81.3% from the line, making 13 of its 16 free throws with Ben Dowdell making 4 of 4 and Payne hitting 3 of 3.

Santa Clara played the game without its leading scorer, Kevin Foster, who did make the trip due to `academic obligations; according to Keating. Chris Cunningham also did not travel due to an injury he sustained in the game at CSU Bakersfield. Both are expected back for the game at Pacific on Sunday.

In the first half the Aztecs took a 6-2 lead before Trasolini and Payne hit back-to-back buckets to tie it up 6-6. SCU briefly took the lead, 8-6, on another basket by Trasolini. SDSU went up by four, 12-8, but a put back by Harrison brought it back within two.

A thundering dunk by SDSU's Malcolm Thomas at 10:21 and two straight Aztec threes pushed their lead to 22-10 before Keating called the team's first time out.

A Ray Cowels three-pointer at 4:54 stopped a 15-0 Aztec rally after San Diego State took a 27-10. Santa Clara went on a 6-0 run off Cowels' three and a three-point play by Payne at 4:34. SDSU finished the half on a 9-4 run, taking a 38-22 lead to the lockerroom.

SCU shot 27.6 percent to SDSU's 48.5 percent in the first half. Both teams were lacking from beyond the arc with SCU shooting 14.3 percent to SDSU's own 27.3 percent. SDSU grabbed 24 rebounds to SCU's 16 with the Broncos turning the ball over 11 times.

To start the second half both teams scored one basket each. The Aztecs went then went on a 18-0, making it 58-26, before Harrison put one back for two points at 11:44. SDSU took a 70-34 lead at 7:44 on its fifth slam dunk of the night off its ninth steal.

SDSU continued to mount on its lead, going up by 40 points, 82-42 at 3:40 before Harrison dumped the ball in the basket for two points at 3:28.

Santa Clara finished the last 3:40 on an 11-4 run.