Santa Clara, 6-3, hosts Pacific, 4-4, in the two school's 129th meeting on Sat., Dec. 17 at 2 pm as part of a double-header at the Leavey Center with the women's basketball team. The Bronco women will play San Jose State at 5 pm immediately following the men's game.
Santa Clara is 4-0 at home this season, 2-1 in neutral site games and 0-2 on the road. The Broncos are home for three of their next four games, including hosting the 45th annual Cable Car Classic Dec. 29-30. Santa Clara is 6-0 when shooting better than the opposition from the field and 5-1 when shooting better beyond the three-point line. The Broncos are also 2-0 on Saturday's this season and 18-1 under head coach Kerry Keating when scoring 80+ points.
Starting the second half on a 19-6 run after leading 37-31 at the half, Santa Clara cruised to a 84-59 win over Pacifica College on Dec. 13. Kevin Foster and Raymond Cowels III led the Broncos with 14 points a piece, with both hitting four three-pointers each. John McArthur added 12 points and seven rebounds while Evan Roquemore scored 10. Niyi Harrison pulled down nine rebounds while scoring six points. Robert Garrett and Julian Clarke added career-highs with seven and eight points respectively. Brandon Clark, Foster, and Roquemore all added five-plus assists. Clark's five assists were a career-high.
University of the Pacific is 4-4 on the season after dropping its last game 70-69 at Santa Clara's WCC rival, San Francisco, in War Memorial Gym on Dec. 10. UOP was led by Ross Rivera's 18 points while Travis Fulton added 10 points and six boards.
UOP has run a balanced offensive attack with all five starters and seven players total scoring at least 6 ppg. Guard Lorenzo McCloud leads the Tigers with 9.2 ppg. The Tigers are good at home and not so good on the road: UOP's 2011-12 season record is 4-0 at the Spanos Center and 0-4 on the road.
Santa Clara leads the all-time series 87-39 vs. UOP. Santa Clara is 6-7 vs. the Tigers dating back to 1999-00. The last seven contests resulted in three wins for the Broncos and four wins for the Tigers, with Santa Clara falling to UOP in its last meeting (69-59 on Dec. 14, 2010). The home team has won five of the past six games in the matchup.
In the last week Santa Clara fell 93-55 on Dec. 11 at Washington State and then defeated Pacifica on Dec. 13 84-59. Prior to finals in early December, Santa Clara defeated Cal State Northridge 71-58 on Dec. 3 behind Kevin Foster's 20 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Niyi Harrison put up his second career double-double (10 points, 11 boards). The Broncos have won four of their last six games, including wins at the 76 Classic vs. New Mexico and Villanova.
With three starters averaging double figures, Santa Clara had two blow-out wins on its home court (vs. UC Merced and San Jose State) and an 89-58 loss at UC Santa Barbara, an NCAA Tournament team the past two years, prior to traveling to Anaheim. A loss to Oklahoma was sandwiched between wins vs. New Mexico and Villanova in Anaheim and the Broncos have since added the home win vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 3.
Foster leads the team with 16.9 ppg, Evan Roquemore dishes out a team-leading 5.7 apg and Harrison is the leader on the boards, pulling down 6.7 rpg. Freshman-redshirt Yannick Atanga is second on the team with 6.1 rpg. Foster has scored in double figures every game this season and Roquemore has hit double figures in eight of the last nine games dating back to last season. Harrison has had four 7+ rebound games this season.
With the loss of All-WCC forward Marc Trasolini (torn ACL), Santa Clara might be the youngest team in the country with its 11 scholarship players this season totalling eight years of total court time (no seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen). While the Broncos start three juniors and two sophomores, the next six players off the bench, including walk-on Jordan Akwenuke, are all freshmen. In addition to leadership, SCU is without its top three rebounders from last season (Trasolini and graduation of Ben Dowdell and Troy Payne).
SCU finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC First Team guard Kevin Foster collecting MVP honors. Foster was named to the 2011 pre-season All-WCC team this season for the third time in his career after leading the country in threes (140) and the league in scoring (20.2 ppg) in 2010-11.
The Pacific game in the Leavey Center will also be broadcast via the Bronco Radio Network on both KDOW 1220 AM and Broncos All-Access at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com with the broadcast beginning at 2 p.m. Anthony Passarelli is in his fifth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.
Santa Clara will travel to Kevin Foster's hometown for its game at Houston Baptist on Tues., Dec. 21 at 5 pm Pacific. Santa Clara is 3-0 vs. Houston Baptist. The other three match-ups: a 85-59 victory vs. Houston Baptist on Jan. 25, 2009; a 68-65 victory on Dec. 14, 2009 in Houston and a 90-67 vs. HBU on Dec. 17, 2010 in Santa Clara. Santa Clara has two players from the Lonestar State: Foster (Katy) and Karim York (Austin).
HBU will play at No. 24 Creighton on Dec. 17 and is 4-6 this season. Prior to the game with the Bluejays, Houston Baptist is 3-6 overall. Houston Baptist freshman guard Marcel Smith had 14 points to lead six Huskies in double figures as HBU ran past Campbell, 87-76, and gave head coach Ron Cottrell his 400th career victory Dec. 14 at Sharp Gym. Cottrell extended his lead as HBU's winningest basketball coach to 272 more than any of his predecessors.
Marcus Davis has been one of the Huskies' biggest offensive threats, averaging 14.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and a team-high 27.3 minutes per game. Joe Latas has contributed 11.1 ppg and a team-best 6.3 rpg while Tyler Russell has averaged 12.7 ppg.
45th Annual Cable Car Classic
The Broncos host the 45th annual Cable Car Classic on Dec. 29 and 30. Air Force tips off with Wagner at 6 pm on the 29th and the Broncos hook up with Eastern Michigan at 8:15 pm the same evening. The losers will play at 6 pm on Dec. 30 and the winner's will play for the Cable Car Classic at 8:15 pm. Santa Clara has won 15 titles, with its last title coming in a thrilling 89-88 overtime victory over UTEP on Dec. 30, 2008.
In 31 of the Classic's 44 years, the Classic has featured a team that would receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament just months later. For 10 years it has featured multiple teams who would later advance. The 1995 Cable Car Classic proved to be one of the strongest fields with all four teams advancing to the 1996 NCAA Tournament in March. Penn State won the Cable Car Classic with Georgia Tech, Santa Clara and Bradley also making the post-season. Georgia Tech won the ACC that year as well.
Air Force is 5-2 this season and plays two games prior to coming to the Mission Campus. Its second game is at WCC rival Gonzaga Dec. 22. Wagner is 7-3 this season and plays at No. 14 Pitt on Dec. 23 prior to the Cable Car Classic. Eastern Michigan is 4-6 after starting the season 4-1. They play at Radford Dec. 20 and at Virginia Tech Dec. 22.
John McArthur leads the WCC at the charity stripe, shooting 90.5 percent this season (19 of 21). Kevin Foster leads the league with 3.4 threes per game and is No. 11 nationally. Evan Roquemore is No. 32 nationally with 5.7 apg.
Santa Clara leads the league in three made per game and is No. 11 nationally.
* Two walk-ons hit their first threes of the season vs. Pacifica on Dec. 13. Junior Kyle Perricone now has three career threes after hitting two last season. Freshman Nick Lamson scored his first career three vs. Pacifica.
* Raymond Cowels III has three+ threes in four of the last five games, including four vs. Pacifica on Dec. 13. Cowels joined Kevin Foster with both scoring 14 points.
* Brandon Clark collected a career-high five assists vs. Pacifica. Roqmemore added five assists and Foster scored six.
* Three Broncos scored in double figures at Washington State: Kevin Foster (16), Niyi Harrison (14) and Evan Roquemore (12).
* Harrison recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. Cal State Northridge. Harrison's only other previous double-double came during his freshman year against Northeastern on Dec. 29, 2009 when he finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
* Scoring 20 points in the win over Cal State Northridge, Foster went four from nine from behind the arc while adding a career-high seven rebounds and season-high six assists. Foster has now scored 19+ points in 38 of 84 games in his career.
* Roquemore and Foster averaged 22.0 ppg and 17.8 ppg, respectively in the 76 Classic.
* Roquemore collected his first career double-double with 27 points and 10 assists vs. Oklahoma. He hit a career-high seven threes and was a perfect six of six from the free throw line. It was the 16th time in his career he has been perfect from the free throw line. It was the first time a Santa Clara guard has collected a double-double (points/assists) since Brody Angley had 24 points and 13 assists in SCU's 101-86 win vs. Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008. Roquemore is the first Bronco to score 25+ points and collect 10+ assists since Steve Nash collected 28 points and 12 assists in Santa Clara's 91-79 victory over Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 15, 1996.
* Foster broke Steve Nash's career three pointers made record with three threes vs. Oklahoma.
* Harrison had a career high 19 points, playing a career-high 44 minutes vs. New Mexico
* Foster and Roquemore had 26 points a piece in the New Mexico win. Roquemore was a perfect 8 of 8 from the line.
* John McArthur collected his first career double-double vs. San Jose State with a career-best19 points (11 of 11 from the free throw line) and 10 rebounds.
* Harrison scored a career-high 18 points vs. San Jose State.
* Santa Clara made 14 threes vs. UC Merced. Led by Foster's five, Roquemore and Brandon Clark both chipped in four each.
Add up These Numbers
Last season Kevin Foster tore through the WCC and Santa Clara record books with 140 threes made on 380 threes attempted. His 3.68 threes per game led the nation and the 140 threes was good enough for No. 9 all-time in NCAA history.
This season he has hit 31 three-pointers and broke the career three-pointers made record set by Steve Nash (263, 119 games, 1992-96) vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25. As a junior, he is already No. 5 on the WCC career list. He needs 11 to jump to No. 3 and 86 to break the WCC career record held by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90).
Foster's 278 threes are also a Bay Area record and he hit the mark faster than Nash (took Foster 82 games and Nash set the record playing in 113 games). Foster is on pace to crush Fryer's WCC record as well (LMU, 368). Consider this: Foster averages 3.23 threes per game during his career and if he plays in 31 games both this season and next season (regular season plus one WCC tournament game), he could hit 450. The NCAA record is 457 by J.J. Redick of Duke (457 in 139 games) and he has a shot at that number if the Broncos advance in the post-season.
Foster is climbing up the Bronco career scoring list as well. At No. 10 with 1,523, he needs 213 to catch school record holder Kurt Rambis (1,736, 1976-80, No. 21 on the WCC list). If he stays on pace with 16.9 ppg this season, Foster would break the school record vs. Portland on Feb. 2 in the second half.
Foster's met Rambis on a number of occasions. His daughter Ali is a sophomore on the SCU volleyball team and Rambis had his jersey retired Foster's freshman year during the Cable Car Classic. In Dallas last March for its CIT game at SMU, the team and coaches stopped by the Timberwolves hotel, in town to play the Mavs that night, to say hello to former Bronco and then-NBA head coach Kurt Rambis. Rambis greeted each player and staff member with a big handshake and a smile. When Coach Keating introduced Rambis to Foster, Foster smiled when Coach Keating said he was chasing his points scored career mark and Rambis remarked with a smile, "I hope you get it."
Foster has a shot at the WCC career points scored record as well. He has averaged 17.7 ppg in his career and with just six players scoring 2,000 plus points in their careers in the WCC, the league record is 2,490 by LMU's Hank Gathers from 1987-90.
Roquemore WCC Player of the Week Nov. 28
After being selected to the 76 Classic Five-Man All-Tournament team and leading the West Coast Conference in points and assists per game and free throw percentage, Santa Clara guard Evan Roquemore was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 28. Nationally he was also named the Lou Henson Award Co-Player of the Week and the Jesuit Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week.
For the tournament, the sophomore averaged 22.7 points and 8 assists per contest, shooting 52% from the floor. His 24 total assists are a new 76 Classic tournament record. In addition to the assists, he shot 95.7 percent from the free throw line at the Classic, hitting 22 of 23 and is No. 9 in the country this season. It is a first-time honor for the sophomore from Henderson, Nev.
Roquemore led the Broncos to victories over New Mexico and Villanova Thanksgiving weekend, and a third-place finish at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. In the 79-76 overtime win over pre-tournament favorite New Mexico in the opener, Roquemore poured in 26 points. Against Oklahoma, Roquemore posted a double-double with 27 points and 10 assists. He poured in 15 points and dished out nine assists in the 65-64 comeback win over Villanova. Santa Clara finished the final 2:56 minutes of the game on a 10-0 run to defeat the Wildcats with Roquemore hitting four clutch free throws with less than 10 seconds left to clinch the win over the Big East school.
Perfect at Home
Santa Clara has played well at the Leavey Center so far this season, scoring 80+ in three of its four wins.
With three Bronco players knocking down four threes or more, Santa Clara defeated UC Merced 80-48 in its season opener on Fri., Nov. 11. The 14 threes made by the Broncos vs. UC Merced were the most since the Broncos made 15 vs. Gonzaga on March 5, 2001 and tied for the second-best mark in school history (14 vs. Pepperdine, Feb. 14, 2004). It was a Leavey Center record as well, topping the 13 the Broncos made vs. Gonzaga twice (vs. Feb. 24, 2000 and vs. Jan. 6, 2005). Kevin Foster led the charge with five threes for 17 points and six assists as well. Evan Roquemore and Brandon Clark chipped in four threes each. Clark was a perfect 4 of 4 beyond the arc in his rookie debut.
Eight days later, behind the 19 points and 10 rebounds of sophomore John McArthur, his first career double-double, Santa Clara defeated San Jose State 84-58 on Nov. 19. The Broncos are winners of eight of the last 10 vs. the Spartans. McArthur was a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line. Santa Clara leads the series against SJSU 73-29. Since 1980, Santa Clara has played San Jose State 30 times and Santa Clara has won 20 of those meetings. The win was the first time in six meetings the home team won.
Home Sweet Home on ESPN Network
Santa Clara will play at least eight games televised on the ESPN network during the regular season, with five ESPN games during West Coast Conference play. Its ESPN games in the WCC include: at BYU (ESPNU, Jan. 14), vs. Portland (Feb. 2, ESPNU), at USF (Feb. 9, ESPNU), vs. Gonzaga (Feb. 16, ESPN2) and vs. BYU (Feb. 18, ESPNU).
In addition to five league games on the ESPN network, Santa Clara was 2-1 on the ESPN network at the 76 Classic. It defeated New Mexico and Villanova on ESPNU and fell to Oklahoma on ESPN2.