After its first two games on the road, Santa Clara (2-2) returns home to host its final two games of the West Coast Classic Thanksgiving week. The Broncos host Northern Arizona (1-2) on Wed., Nov. 25 at 7 pm and then Fresno State (2-2) on Sat., Nov. 28 at 2 pm. Santa Clara is playing the Lumberjacks for just the second time in school history.
Santa Clara won the first match-up with Northern Arizona, 72-61, in the first round of the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 27, 1985. Bronco Steve Kenilvort led the cause with 26 points, including sinking 12 of 13 free throws. Mitch Burkey scored 13 and Matt Wilgenbush led both teams with seven rebounds. Purdue defeated the Broncos 84-56 to win the Cable Car Classic the next night.
The Lumberjacks are beginning a span of eight of the next nine games on the road. They hosted Pacific on Nov. 19, but the game was suspended due to a power outage in the Flagstaff area. NAU was up 45-43 with 8:50 left in the second half. At this point the game is suspended and there is no word on when/if they will resume the game. In its last complete game, Fresno State defeated Northern Arizona 65-69 on Nov. 17.
NAU head coach Mike Adras, in his 11th season with the Lumberjacks, boasts 159 career wins which is fourth-best in the Big West Conference. NAU has four players averaging double-figures this season including junior guard Cameron Jones at 21.3 ppg. Junior Shane Johnannsen leads the team with 7.0 rpg.
Who is In: the West Coast Classic
SCU is in the midst of hosting the West Coast Classic. The Classic represents five different Division I conferences including the West Coast (Santa Clara), the Mountain West (San Diego State), Big Sky (Northern Arizona), Big West (Pacific) and WAC (Fresno State).
The West Coast Classic is considered one of the first of its kind because each school gets to host two home games. Santa Clara will host two games in the exempt event this season and can host an event like this once every five years.
The SCU-Northern Arizona 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 Santa Clara men's basketball play-by-play announcer after six seasons of handling those duties for SCU women's basketball.
Santa Clara fell 84-57 at Pacific on Nov. 22. The Broncos were led by Kevin Foster's season-high 22 points. Santa Clara shot 33.3 percent in the game with a season-high 10 steals and 10 assists. The Tigers shot 55.6 percent overall; and in the second half they shot 77.3 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 9).
The Broncos, playing short-handed, fell 86-53 to San Diego State on Nov. 19. 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.
Santa Clara played at SDSU without its leading scorer, Kevin Foster, who did make the trip due to academic obligations. 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.
Santa Clara defeated Menlo College 80-58 on Nov. 16. The 58 Santa Clara rebounds vs. Menlo 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. In addition, the 45 free throws attempted by the Broncos vs. Menlo were the most Santa Clara has shot since it shot 47 vs. USF on Jan. 14, 1993. Marc Trasolini's 23 points and 12 rebounds led the Broncos as he collected his second career double-double and his first three-pointer on his first-ever attempt. Troy Payne added a career-high 15 rebounds with Robert Smith scoring in double-figures (13) for the first time.
Santa Clara, opening the season with a true road game for the first time since 2003, defeated CSU Bakersfield, 84-81, on Fri., Nov. 13 behind Kevin Foster's 21 points. Santa Clara had four players score in double figures: Foster (21), Troy Payne (15), Niyi Harrison (12) and Marc Trasolini (10). Head coach Kerry Keating is now 2-1 in season openers.
The Broncos, which features no seniors and nine underclassmen, are led by Foster, a preseason All-WCC honoree by the league's coaches, and Trasolini, a WCC All-Freshman team honoree last year. SCU returns two starters and seven letterwinners; and features six newcomers.
Foster: 13x 20+
Kevin Foster has scored 20+ points twice in the young season and eight times in his last 11 games spanning his first two years. Foster scored 20+ points 11 times last year, including five of the last eight games of the season. He has a career-high five three pointers four times.
Foster scored 19 vs. Menlo - just one point off his 13th game of 20+. He has scored 15+ points in 20 of 34 career games.
Santa Clara leads the WCC with 8.8 spg. It is second in offensive rebounds with 15.5 orpg.
More than, Less than
Santa Clara is 1-0 when scoring 80+ points this year. The Broncos were 5-0 last season when scoring 80-89 points and now 8-1 in Keating's three-year history. When they scored 70+, the Broncos are 17-2 under Keating. But, when scoring between 50-69, the Broncos are 0-2 this season, 8-14 last season and 16-28 in Keating's watch.