Nov. 15, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With four key players sitting on the sideline due to injuries, the Santa Clara University men's basketball team battled to a 65-64 exhibition loss to the Olympic Club Friday night in the Leavey Center.
The game was Santa Clara's only exhibition contest of the preseason prior to its season-opener scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22 at Pacific. The Olympic Club has won two of its last three games against local college teams, defeating San Francisco 80-73 and dropping an 84-67 decision at Stanford.
Kris Weems, a former Stanford guard, led all scorers with 27 points, including 21 in the second half to lead the Olympic Club. Santa Clara was led by sophomore Bakari Altheimer's 17 points, while junior forward Jim Howell grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds.
Santa Clara was without the services of Kyle Bailey, Jordan Legge, Scott Borchart and J.R. Patrick in the game, all due to various injuries. Bailey is listed as probable for the opener at Pacific, while Legge and Borchart are questionable and Patrick is out. The starting five against the Olympic Club was Brad and Cord Anderson at the forward positions, Jim Howell at center and Bakari Altheimer and Ethan Rohde at the guard positions. Three of the five starters originally walked-on to the Bronco men's basketball program as freshmen.
All six of the Olympic Club's field goals in the first half were from behind the three-point arc and it shot 11-for-30 from that distance for the game. The traditionally-tough Bronco defense limited the Olympic Club to just 35.2 percent from the field and Santa Clara outrebounded OC by a 46-33 margin.
The Broncos raced out to a 10-4 lead in the first eight minutes, then stretched their lead to a game-high seven on a jumper by redshirt freshman Linden Tibbets to make the score 16-7 with 9:57 left in the first half. The Olympic Club then went on a 22-9 run to close out the half, all on three-point field goals by Brian O'Connor, former Bronco John Woolery, Emerson Whitley and Weems.
In the second half, the two teams played about even on the scoreboard with the Olympic Club enjoying a game-high eight point lead on a fast-break layup by Paul Bruso with 15:02 left in the game. SCU went on a quick 8-0 run to tie the score at 46-apiece on a three-point field goal by Alex Kargbo. The two teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of the game and the Broncos made their road to victory more difficult by missing four-straight free throws in the last minute of the game.
Altheimer made the contest interesting in the closing seconds, connecting on a three-point field goal from the left wing with just :03 seconds left to bring Santa Clara to within one at 65-64. However, the Olympic Club inbounded the ball to the midcourt line and ran the clock down for the win.
The Broncos open their home season Nov. 25 against UC Santa Cruz in the first of three games during the Thanksgiving holidays. Montana State will visit the Leavey Center on Nov. 27, while the Broncos will play host to rival San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 30. All SCU home games are scheduled for a 7 p.m tipoff and tickets are available by clicking here or calling the athletic ticket office at 408/554-4660.