January 2, 2010

Very Close to a Sellout: Santa Clara vs. Harvard Tonight

Jan. 2, 2010

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Santa Clara (8-8) will host Harvard (10-3), riding a three-game winning streak, in the final non-conference game of the year on Mon., Jan. 4 at 7 pm. The Harvard team features Palo Alto's own Jeremy Lin. The Harvard game could be the year's first sell-out as less than 50 tickets remain (as of Saturday evening). Fans should call the ticket office to get tickets at 408-554-4660 or visit the ticket office at the Leavey Center.

Harvard leads the series 2-1. Harvard won 73-68 in Boston on Jan. 2, 2009. Santa Clara won the first meeting, 80-69, on Dec. 29, 1992 with Harvard winning 59-54 on Dec. 20, 1997. The first two games were played as part of the Cable Car Classic.

Listen

The Harvard game will be broadcast at 7 pm via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The pregame show will begin at 6:45 pm. Anthony Passarelli is in his third season as the play-by-play announcer.

In addition, Kerry Keating can be heard on KDOW 1220 AM on Sunday evenings from 8:30-9 pm in his radio spotlight on The Sports Ramble, hosted by Chetan Chaudhari. If you are out of the listening area Bronco fans, KDOW is streamed online live at www.1220kdow.com.

Last Time Out

Michael Santos started his second-straight game and put up a career-high 15 points, including hitting four of four from the free throw line and Ray Cowels hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to defeat New Hampshire 71-68 on Jan. 2.

Robert Smith tied his career-high 17 points and 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.

Harvard set a program record for non-conference victories in a season Jan. 2 as the Crimson defeated Seattle, 92-71. The Crimson improves to 10-3, eclipsing its non-league wins record set during the 1957-58 season. Harvard players responded in force as four players logged double figures in the first half alone - including the duo charged with guarding the SU star. Kyle Casey had his second straight career-high outing with 19 points (7-10 FG) while Keith Wright had 16 points (8- 13 FG) and three blocks.

Jeremy Lin (8-9 FG) made his first five shots of the game and played through foul trouble to finish with 21 points and four steals in 30 minutes while Christian Webster had 10 points and five assists in the first half alone, finishing with 12 points and three steals.

Harvard shot nearly 59 percent for the game and was 20-of-23 at the free throw line.

Santos

Michael Santos scored a career-high 15 points in the win vs. New Hampshire. Santos had a career-high in the following categories: points (15), field goals made (5), field goals attempted (8). He also tied career highs for the following: free throws made (4), free throws attempted (4) and steals (3).

He had a career-high nine rebounds vs. UNLV on Dec. 5 and played a career-high 36 minutes vs. Wofford vs. Dec. 30. Santos has started the past two games, his first starts of the year, after starting 18 of the 33 games he played in last year. Entering the Harvard game he is averaging 5.6 ppg and 2.8 rpg, playing 21.6 mpg.

Starters The Broncos used their ninth starting line-up of the season for the second straight game vs. New Hampshire. It included Robert Smith, Michael Santos, Troy Payne, Niyi Harrison and Ben Dowdell.

They have had nine different players start in a game this season. They had used the same line-up four straight games prior to the Cable Car Classic.

The only players who have started in all 16 games this season are Robert Smith and Troy Payne. The Broncos have 13 players who have appeared in a game this season, but only seven players have played in all 16 games. They are: Trasolini, Smith, Harrison, Cowels, Payne, Santos and Troy Alexander.

Leading

SCU has three players averaging double figures: Kevin Foster (19.8 ppg - out indefinitely), Marc Trasolini (13.8 ppg) and Robert Smith (11.5 ppg).

They are led on the boards by Trasolini and Troy Payne, who average 6.8 rpg each. Payne has 7+ rebounds in nine games, including nine vs. New Hampshire and Fresno State and a career-high 15 vs. Menlo. Smith leads the team with 2.9 apg. Trasolini leads the team with 1.8 bpg.

Traz Marc Trasolini's 22 points vs. No. 21 UNLV on Dec. 5 was his second-best effort this season after he scored 23 points vs. Menlo on Nov. 16. Trasolini had a career-high 24 points last year vs. New Hampshire on Jan. 4, 2009.

Trasolini has scored in double figures 13 times this season and has two double-doubles. In 16 games he has scored no fewer than seven points (vs. SJSU) and has scored 20+ three times this year after accomplishing that feat just once last year. He tied his career high with eight field goals vs. Dominican, also hitting eight shots vs. USF on Feb. 21, 2009.

Trasolini has hit 74 of his 93 free throws this season, including hitting 19 of 20 free throws in the last three games. On the season, he is hitting almost 80 percent at the line. In addition, 34 percent of Trasolini's points this year come from the charity stripe.

Cowels off the bench

Raymond Cowels scored 24 points off the bench vs. Wofford and for his efforts was named to the Cable Car Classic All-Tournament team. It was a career high for Cowels in the following categories: points (24), field goals made (8), three pointers made (5) and field goal percentage (.667). He tied his career high with three assists as well.

Cowels 24 points were the most for a Bronco off the bench since Marc Trasolini scored 24 vs. New Hampshire on Jan. 4, 2009. Looking for a better performance off the bench for a Bronco? Brandon Rohe scored 29 points on Dec. 27, 2002 in Santa Clara's 70-63 win over Mississippi Valley State. It was the most for a freshman since Kevin Foster scored 26 at LMU on Feb. 14, 2009 in Santa Clara's 69-64 win over the Lions in Los Angeles.

Cowels had started the last eight of nine games before coming off the bench vs. Wofford. Prior to the Wofford game, Cowels had been struggling, hitting five threes in the six previous games combined. The five threes also tied Kevin Foster's high from last season as well.

Smith

Freshman Robert Smith continues to be productive offensively as he has scored in double digits 10 of the last 11 games. Smith scored a career-high 17 points vs. New Hampshire, including three threes, and vs. Fresno State; was a career-high 6 of 8 from the free throw line in the win at UCSB and added 16 points vs. SJSU.

Additionally, Smith was five of eight from the free throw line at Houston Baptist including two key free throws to help preserve the lead in the last seconds. In Santa Clara's game vs. SJSU on Dec. 23, Smith played a career-high 37 minutes, scoring 16 points with a career-high seven rebounds and five assists. Smith had a career-high six assists vs. Wofford.

Smith was named to the Cousy Watch List as the top point guard in the country on Dec. 16. He is one of two point guards on the list from the WCC. The other is Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin.

Things

Santa Clara is 4-2 when scoring more than 70 points this year and 11-3 when scoring 70+ under Keating in the last three years.

The Broncos are shooting 74 percent in their eight losses this year (121-163), but shoots 67 percent in wins (175-259).

Cunningham

Chris Cunningham has been working hard over the break to continue to get improve as one of Santa Clara's freshmen posts. Cunningham's work showed vs. New Hampshire when he played a career-high 16 minutes, grabbing a career-high six rebounds with one block.

Double-Doubles

After John Bryant led the country with 28 double-doubles last year, finishing his career with 50 even, Marc Trasolini's two double-double were the only career double-doubles on the team until Niyi Harrison posted his first career double-double vs. Northeastern. Harrison had a career-high 11 rebounds and scored 13 points vs. the Wildcats, the eventual Cable Car Classic. Eight of Harrison's rebounds were offensive and he was three of four from the free throw line.

Dowdell

Ben Dowdell started the first four games of the season before going down with a leg injury which caused him to miss the next four games.

Dowdell has started the past three games and made the best of it vs. Wofford on Dec. 30. He scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed four rebounds.

Dowdell averages 6.9 ppg and 4.0 rpg with 1.1 spg as well.