November 20, 2008

Santa Clara to play at Georgia, vs. Arizona in NIT Season Tip-Off Consolation Round

Nov. 20, 2008

Playing in the Dick Sporting Good NIT Season Tip-Off Consolation Bracket, the Santa Clara basketball team, 1-2, will play at the University of Georgia on Mon., Nov. 24 at 5 pm (Pacific) and then play University of Arizona, 1-1, in Athens, Ga., on Tues. Nov. 25 at 2:45 pm (Pacific). Georgia, 2-1, will play Presbyterian on Fri., Nov. 21 in Athens prior to playing Santa Clara.

Santa Clara fell in both games in Tucson earlier this week, losing 64-61 to UAB on Mon., Nov. 17 and then Florida Atlantic on Tues., Nov. 18, 65-61. UAB advanced to the NIT Season Tip-Off semi-finals in Madison Square Garden with its 72-71 victory over host-Arizona. Arizona defeated Florida Atlantic 75-62 the night before.

Georgia fell 74-53 to Loyola-Chicago on Monday before defeating Eastern Michigan 61-60 on Tuesday at Purdue University. Prior to the NIT Preseason Tip-Off Tournament, the Bulldogs defeated USC Upstate 72-48 on Fri., Nov. 14.

LISTEN: Georgia: Live; Arizona: Tape Delay

The Santa Clara-Georgia game will be broadcast live at 5 pm on Mon., Nov. 24 via the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of KDOW-AM 1220 and Broncos All-Access on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.

The Santa Clara-Arizona game will be broadcast on a tape delay basis at 5 pm on Tues., Nov. 25 on KDOW-AM 1220. The game can be found on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com as part of game tracker at 2:45 pm. Neither game will be on TV.

Anthony Passarelli is in his second season as the Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.

Wondering?

* Santa Clara is playing Georgia for the second time in school history, but playing in the state of Georgia for the first time in its 102 year history.

** The Broncos are 1-11 vs. the Southeastern Conference throughout the years, with their lone win coming on Dec. 28, 1996 vs. then-No. 19 Alabama, 77-62, as part of the Cable Car Classic. The last SEC team the Broncos played: SCU lost 74-60 on Dec. 19, 2006 at Kentucky.

*** The Broncos are 91-171 vs. the Pac-10, including 4-4 vs. Arizona. The last time the Broncos played a Pac-10 team: SCU lost 74-48 at Stanford on Dec. 19, 2007. The Cardinal will visit the Broncos on Dec. 23 for an ESPNU telecasted game prior to the holidays.

**** The Broncos last played in the NIT Preseason Tournament in 1993. They lost to No. 6 California 81-74 on Nov. 17 at San Jose Arena in San Jose, Calif. The season before Santa Clara had advanced to the 1993 NCAA Tournament Second Round with a 64-61 win over Arizona before falling 68-57 to Temple.

***** Second year head coach Kerry Keating is 6-3 in his career in November, 7-4 on Mondays and 1-1 on Tuesdays.

Leading the way

Bronco senior John Bryant is averaging a double-double this year with 20.3 ppg and 11.0 rpg. He has 26 double-doubles in his career, including two this season (vs. CSU East Bay and vs. UAB). James Rahon puts in 10.0 ppg off the bench. Bryant leads the team with 11.0 rpg with Ben Dowdell averaging 4.1 rpg as the second-best. Bryant and Marc Trasolini lead the Broncos with 2.0 bpg. Leading the shooters is Bryant's 65% from the field and Kevin Foster knocking down 38% from beyond the arc.

vs. Georgia

Santa Clara will be playing Georgia for the second time. Georgia won the first meeting 80-68 in Provo, Utah on Dec. 11, 1992.

The Bulldogs return two starters and five letterwinners from a team that finished at 17-17 last year, including 4-12 in the Southeastern Conference. They are led by sixth-year head coach Dennis Felton. In his 11th year as a head coach (177-135) he has led his teams at Georgia and Western Kentucky to four NCAA Tournament and two NITs. The 'Dawgs were picked to finish sixth in the SEC Eastern Division this season and freshman Howard Thompkins was named to Sporting News' Top 100 Freshmen list.

History Makers!

No team in college basketball history has ever taken the path to glory that the 2008 Georgia Bulldogs took. They won the 2008 SEC Tournament -- just the second such title ever for the program -- by winning four games in a most improbable, most unforgettable fashion. As a reward, the Bulldogs earned the league's automatic berth in the 2008 NCAA Tournament and fell 73-61 to Xavier.

Georgia won its first round game over Ole Miss conventionally enough: on a last- second shot in overtime by senior Dave Bliss. A tornado struck downtown Atlanta the following night, shutting down the Georgia Dome and forcing the tournament to a new venue: Alexander Memorial Coliseum, home of the Bulldogs' longtime rival, Georgia Tech. Georgia then won its next three games -- defeating Kentucky in overtime, Mississippi State and Arkansas -- in a span of just over 24 hours, an unprecedented feat in the annals of post-season college basketball.

vs. Arizona

Santa Clara will be playing Arizona for the ninth time, with both teams winning four times each. The two first played in 1936, with the Broncos getting away with a 45-25 victory on Dec. 28, 1936; and the last match-up the Wildcats won 89-63 on Dec. 18, 1993. The Broncos had defeated the Wildcats earlier that year in the 1993 NCAA Tournament First Round in Salt Lake City, 64-61.

The Wildcats return three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that finished at 19-15 last year, including 8-10 in the Pac-10 Conference; and the Wildcats bowed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 this year.

The Wildcats have been through quite a bit in the last month. Veteran college assistant Russ Pennell assumed the role of interim head coach at Arizona on Oct. 24, 2008, in the wake of Lute Olson's retirement a day earlier. He will oversee all aspects of the program during the 2008-09 season. Pennell returned to college basketball on May 5, 2008, when he joined the Wildcat staff, ending a two-year stint as the head of the Arizona Premier League in the Phoenix area. He also provided color commentary for the Arizona State University radio network during the 2007-08 season. Most recently, Pennell served as an assistant coach for Arizona State for eight seasons from 1998-2006.

The Last Time out for Georgia

Georgia used a 16-2 run over a six minute stretch in the second half to erase an 11 point deficit and defeat Eastern Michigan 61-60 on Tues., Nov. 18 at Mackey Arena on the Purdue University campus.

The Bulldogs trailed 53-42 with 8:48 left, but outscored the Eagles 19-7 down the stretch. After Dustin Ware's three-pointer with 57 seconds remaining gave Georgia a 61-59 lead, Eastern Michigan's Brandon Bowdry hit the second of two free throws to pull the Eagles within one with 38 seconds left.

Georgia missed two free throws in the final 25 seconds, but Antonio Green's desperation shot at the buzzer came up short to give the Bulldogs a split in their two games in West Lafayette, Ind.

Corey Butler led Georgia with 12 points while Terrance Woodbury and Ware each added 11. Ware came off the bench and hit four treys--all in the second half.