Santa Clara Takes on Niagara in Cable Car Championship Saturday Night at 8 p.m.
Dec. 29, 2007
The Santa Clara Broncos face the Niagara Purple Eagles on Saturday, Dec. 29 in the Cable Car Classic championship game. The game tips off 30 minutes after the conclusion of the consolation game between Denver and Morgan State. The Denver-Morgan State game starts at 6 p.m. PT. The championship game can be heard live on KNTS or SantaClaraBroncos.com. SCU will be seeking its 15th Cable Car Classic title in the 41 years of the tournament's existence.
The Broncos overcame a five-point deficit in the final minute to get a big 74-65 overtime win at home vs. Denver on the first day of the Cable Car Classic. Brody Angley tied the game with a 3-pointer with 27 seconds to go to send the game to overtime. In overtime, SCU outscored the Pioneers 13-4 to pull away for the victory. John Bryant recorded his fifth double double with 21 points and a season high 15 rebounds, while Angley scored 15 points and equaled his season high with eight assists. Ben Dowdell set a career high with 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
Head Coach Kerry Keating
Santa Clara University named Kerry Keating head coach on April 6, 2007. Keating, 36, comes to SCU with a long coaching backgroud at a number of top programs. He is the 14th head coach in the 101 years of Bronco basketball and he is the first coach hired since Harlan Dykes in 1926 that had not previously attended SCU or served as an assistant coach on the Mission Campus. Most recently, Keating helped UCLA reach back-to-back Final Fours as an assistant coach on Ben Howland's staff in Westwood. He has also served as an assistant at Tennessee, Tulsa, Appalachian State, Seton Hall, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He is off to a 8-5 start in his career at SCU.
SCU vs. Niagara
Series Record: First Meeting
Niagara is off to a 7-3 start this season after defeating Morgan State 73-53 in their first game of the Cable Car Classic. Senior Charron Fisher came into the Cable Car as the nation's leading scorer, averaging 27.3 points per game. He scored 25 points against Morgan State on Dec. 28. Stanley Hodge and Tyrone Lewis also score in double figures for the Purple Eagles, who have had only eight players see action this season. The Purple Eagles won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2007 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They have made the NCAAs two times in the past three seasons.
All-Time vs. Sun Belt, MEAC and MAAC
Against the current members of the Sun Belt Conference, SCU has earned a 7-2 record, going 1-1 vs. Denver, 3-0 vs. North Texas, 1-0 vs. Western Kentucky, 2-0 vs. New Orleans and 0-1 against Louisiana-Lafayette, which was called Southwest Louisiana when the Broncos faced them in 1984 ... Santa Clara has never lost to a current member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, posting a 7-0 record all-time against opponents from that conference. SCU is 1-0 vs. Manhattan, 1-0 vs. Marist, 3-0 vs. Loyola (Md.), 1-0 vs. Iona and 1-0 vs. Fairfield ... SCU has played only one current Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent in its history, defeating North Carolina A&T 90-52 at the NABC Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. in 2004.
Cable Car Notes
Santa Clara has played in all 41 Cable Car Classics and posted a 47-34 record, while winning 14 tournament titles ... in the 2007 Cable Car, the Broncos host two teams that they have never faced, Morgan State and Niagara and one team that they have played just once, Denver ... Niagara senior Charron Fisher entered the tournament as the nation's leading scorer at 27.3 points per game ... John Bryant was named to the Cable Car All-Tournament team last year, while Brody Angley made it in 2005 as a sophomore ... Santa Clara last won the title in 2005 when the Broncos defeated UC Riverside and Bucknell ... SCU is 8-1 in its past nine opening night games at the Cable Car ... John Bryant set a career high with 17 rebounds against UC Riverside in the 2005 Cable Car ... the last Sun Belt Conference member to play in the Cable Car was Western Kentucky, who played in the very first Cable Car in 1967. Western Kentucky defeated San Francisco 90-70 before losing 75-68 to Santa Clara ... Marist was the last member of the MAAC to participate in the Cable Car, losing 75-49 to Santa Clara and 64-52 to UC Santa Barbara in 1990 ... Morgan State is the first MEAC school to play in the Cable Car Classic.
2006 Cable Car Review
Last season, the Air Force Falcons shot their way to their first Cable Car Classic title, defeating George Washington and Santa Clara. The Falcons set tournament records with 27 3-pointers made and 55 3-pointers attempted. Jacob Burtschi was named the tournament MVP, while Dan Nwaelele won the O'Connor Award and Andrew Henke won the Frandsen award. Air Force defeated George Washington 66-52 in its first game and then beat Santa Clara 78-48 in the Championship Game.
Junior center John Bryant rediscovered his dominant form on Dec. 28 against Denver. Bryant scored 21 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field and pulled down 15 rebounds. He also shot 9-for-12 from the free throw line. He has now scored over 20 points seven times in 13 games this season and has scored in double figures in every game.
Bryant Double Doubles
John Bryant has posted five double doubles this season for Santa Clara after scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against Denver on Dec. 28. He also had double doubles against Cal State Monterey Bay on Nov. 9, Sacramento State on Nov. 25, San Jose State on Dec. 8 and Montana on Dec. 17. Bryant had five double doubles in 2006-07 and four double doubles as a freshman during the 2005-06 season.
Angley Deja Vu
Brody Angley hit the game-tying 3-pointer against Denver on Dec. 28 in the Cable Car Classic to send the game to overtime. The Broncos then defeated Denver 74-65. In 2004 as a freshman, Angley also hit a three to send the game into overtime, knocking down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to tie the game against Yale. However, SCU would lose that game 90-84 on Dec. 29, 2004.
Santa Clara shot 55 percent from the floor against Denver on Dec. 28, marking the seventh time this season that SCU shot 50 percent or better. SCU is shooting .509 percent for the season to lead the West Coast Conference and place in the top 10 nationally.
Santa Clara defeated Montana by 11 points on Dec. 17. The Broncos have earned six of their eight victories by 10 points or more this season. Their two single-digit wins were by nine points, vs. Eastern Washington on Nov. 29 (66-57) and vs. Denver on Dec. 28 (74-65 in OT).
Free Throw Line
SCU has improved significantly at the free throw line this season through 13 games. The Broncos are shooting 71 percent from the charity stripe this year after shooting 67 percent last season.
Senior Brody Angley, junior Calvin Johnson and sophomore Jonathan Gunderson are all hot from beyond the arc this season. Following the Broncos game on Dec. 28 vs. Denver, the trio has hit 58-of-115 of their threes for a .504 shooting percentage from downtown. Johnson, who has attempted only two 2-pointers all season, leads the way at .523 (23-of-44), with Angley (.513, 20-for-39) and Gunderson (.469, 15-for-32) right behind him. Johnson ranks first in the WCC, Angley second and Gunderson fourth in 3-point shooting percentage. The record for 3-point percentage for the season is .454, set by Steve Nash in 1994-95. As a team, SCU is shooting .438 from beyond the arc. The season record at Santa Clara is .390, set in 1994-95.
Angley In Top 10
Senior point guard Brody Angley had 119 assists last season, giving him 342 career assists coming into this season. With 66 assists in the first 13 games he has now passed Harold Keeling (1981-85) for seventh all-time and has 408 career assists. John Woolery (1990-94) is sixth on the list with 422.
Angley More Top 10's
Brody Angley also finds himself in the Top 10 all-time in steals at SCU with 146. He passed Doron Perkins (2003-05) on Dec. 12 with two steals and then passed Chris Lane (1984-88) on Dec. 19 with four steals. He is now sixth all time just one behind Steve Nash (1992-96). Along with steals, Angley now finds himself in the Top 10 all-time in games started as well. After starting against Denver, the Redding, Calif. native, now has 93 starts, tying him with Michael Norman (1980-84) for seventh all-time. Angley has an opportunity to end his career second all-time if he starts 28 games this season. The all-time leader is Brian Jones (1996-01) with 116 starts. Kurt Rambis (1976-80) is second with 107.
Bryant Moving Up
Center John Bryant blocked 49 shots last season, surpassing his 37 from the 2005-06 season. Bryant's 49 blocks are the third highest single season total in school history. He surpassed Jens Gordon (1987-88), who had 48. After 26 blocks in the first 13 games, Bryant now has 112 career blocks, placing him third all-time in blocks in SCU history. Jens Gordon (1985-89) is second with 133.
The Century Mark
Senior Brody Angley has now appeared in 104 games in his career at Santa Clara after starting against Denver on Dec. 28. He will enter the top 10 in school history for games played if he appears in 11 more games. The school's all-time record of 127 is held by Kyle Bailey (2001-05.) Fellow senior Mitch Henke is currently at 99 games played and should reach the century mark during the Cable Car Classic.
Angley Hot Despite Injury
Santa Clara senior point guard Brody Angley got poked in the eye late in the Broncos' game on Nov. 29 at Eastern Washington, forcing him to the sidelines of that game. However, he checked back in to that game and hit two late free throws to help seal a 66-57 win. Angley wore a patch on his eye all day on Nov. 30 to help his scratched eye heal. After removing the patch, Angley was cleared to play by the Broncos' medical staff at Utah State on Dec. 1. Despite the eye injury, Angley had the best offensive showing of his career against the Aggies. He scored a career high 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting, while also dishing out six assists. His three-pointer and assist to John Bryant for a three-point play helped SCU cut an 11-point deficit to two points, before the Aggies escaped with a win. He continued his strong play with 15 points and seven rebounds against San Jose State in a win on Dec. 8.
On the Boards
Santa Clara has held the rebounding edge in 10 of its 13 games this season and have been outrebounded only once, at Stanford on Dec. 19. Santa Clara and Utah State each had 26 boards on Dec. 1 and SCU and Pacific each had 32 on Dec. 12. Overall, the Broncos have outrebounded opponents 409-341 for a +5.2 margin.
The 2007-08 Broncos are among the leaders in a number of statistical categories in the West Coast Conference. As of Dec. 28, SCU was first in field goal percentage (.509), first in 3-point field goal percentage (.438), second in rebound margin (+5.2), second in scoring defense (62.4), and second in assists (15.1). Individually, John Bryant was second in scoring (19.1), tied for third in rebounding (8.8), first in field goal percentage (.597) and tied for second in blocked shots (2.00). Brody Angley was second in assists (5.08), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74), sixth in steals (1.62) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.513). Calvin Johnson was second in 3-pointers made per game (2.09) and firstin 3-point field goal percentage (.523).