Broncos Down Pepperdine 70-60; Cowels III scores his 1,000th Career Point

Broncos Down Pepperdine 70-60; Cowels III scores his 1,000th Career Point
Pictured: Raymond Cowels III with a few Ruff Riders after the game.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With Bronco senior Raymond Cowels III becoming the 31st Bronco in school history to score 1,000 career points Saturday night, Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine 70-60.  Santa Clara is the third school this season to have four 1,000 point scorers in their starting five (N.C. State and Davidson).  Santa Clara travels to No. 5 Gonzaga for a Wed., Feb. 20 match-up at 8 pm on ESPNU.

Santa Clara is 19-8 and 7-5 in the WCC. Pepperdine is 12-14 and 4-9 in the WCC.  It is the third WCC team Santa Clara has swept this season (sweeping San Diego and USF as well).

"I couldn't be happier for Ray.  It couldn't have happened at a better time," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.  "We are excited for the win tonight and the team is really happy for Ray."

"It was a great team effort tonight.  Everyone contributed tonight," added Keating.  "This week, we were able to utilize the bench more, whether in mass or individually, and that was promising. We are going to need everybody in this stretch run."

Santa Clara shot 47.2 percent from the field (25-53), including 34.8 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 23).  The Broncos collected 30 rebounds, 14 assists, five blocks, six steals and had nine turnovers. They shot 54.5 percent from the free throw line (12-22).

Pepperdine shot 38.3 percent from the field (18 of 47), including 14.3 percent from beyond the arc (1 of 7). The Waves collected 35 rebounds, 11 assists, one block, four steals and had 12 turnovers. They shot 82.1 percent from the free throw line (23 of 28).

Cowels III is the 31st Bronco to score 1,000 career points and the fourth Bronco in the starting line-up this year to have reached the milestone.  With eight points tonight, Cowels III has 1,001 career points.  Santa Clara was the first school in the country this year to have three 1,000 point scorers (Marc Trasolini, Evan Roquemore, Kevin Foster) and is now the third school in the country to have four 1,000 point scorers.  Two other teams nationally with a quartet of 1,000 point scorers: N.C. State accomplished the feat on Jan. 22, 2013 vs. Wake Forest and Davidson matched them on Feb. 9, 2013 vs. App. State.

"It feels great and I have to thank my team for passing me the ball for four years and believing in me.  It's a blessing to play with them," said Cowels III.  Did he know he had scored his 1,000th point?  "Oh yes! It got loud as heck!  It took me nine shots tonight - it was one of those off nights, but I won't have another I hope."

"We are all really proud of Ray!  Welcome to the club (1,000 point scorers)," said Trasolini, who has 1,528 career points. "He's been great this year.  It's awesome for him and I hope he keeps scoring."

Foster led all scorers with 22 points, including 5 of 11 from beyond the arc.  It was the 80th time in 122 career games he has scored 15+ and the 57th time he has scored 19+.  Already No. 3 all-time in WCC history with 2,187 career points, Foster needs 15 points to move to No. 2 all-time to pass LMU's Terrell Lowery (2,201 points, 1988-92).  Foster is No. 13 all-time with 392 threes all-time. 

"I just had to shoot myself out of my slump. It felt good," said Foster.

Brandon Clark added 15 points, including 7 of 10 from the free throw line.  Evan Roquemore led the team with six rebounds and five assists, adding 10 points as well.  Marc Trasolini scored eight with three rebounds.  Yannick Atanga grabbed seven rebounds and tallied four blocks.

Pepperdine was led by Jordan Baker's 18 points.  Stacy Davis added 12 and Jett Raines had 10.  Baker and Moriba De Freitas had six rebounds each.  Cameron Mills led the team with five assists.

The Broncos ran out to a 7-0 lead on buckets by Trasolini and a three by Foster.  Pepperdine scored its first bucket at 17:50.

With a 11-6 lead, Foster knocked down his second triple of the game. Cowels III then stole an inbounds pass and added two more before the media timeout.

Following the media timeout, Santa Clara held on defense and that allowed Foster to extend the lead to 19-6 with his third triple of the contest. It was Foster's 390th career three.  Jordan Baker added two from the charity stripe for the Waves.

On the next Bronco possession, Niyi Harrison converted on one free throw to push the Santa Clara lead to 20-8. After a Pepperdine turnover, Brandon Clark knocked down a jumper in the lane to add to Santa Clara's lead. 

Baker knocked down a floater in the lane to pull Pepperdine within 12. However, Julian Clarke knocked down Santa Clara's fourth triple of the half to give the Broncos' a 25-10 lead.

With a 25-14 advantage, Roquemore continued the sharpshooting from downtown with another three-pointer.

Baker sunk two free throws for Pepperdine that cut the Broncos' lead to 12. It appeared that the Waves would add two more, but Trasolini came up with a monstrous block in transition.

Roquemore added to the momentum with a triple that spun around the rim before falling. At the 7:16 mark, Santa Clara held a 30-16 advantage. After a bucket for Pepperdine coming out of a timeout, Foster hit another from beyond the arc. Denzel Johnson jumped in front of an inbounds pass that Roquemore turned into an easy layup to give the Broncos a 17-point advantage - their largest lead to that point in the contest.

De Freitas added two down low for the Waves. Foster countered with two free throws of his own to make the Santa Clara lead 36-22.

Mills added two free throws at 2:54 and again at 1:16 that cut the Broncos' lead to 36-26. B. Clark hit one of two from the free throw line for the Broncos. Jett Raines knocked down a mid-range jumper for the Waves that cut Santa Clara's lead to single digits with under a minute left. Trasolini and Baker traded buckets at the end of the half and the Broncos entered halftime with a 39-30 lead.

Foster led all scorers with 17 in the first half.  Roquemore added seven.  In the first half, Santa Clara shot 57.7 percent from the field (15 of 26), including 50 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 12).  The Broncos collected 11 rebounds, nine assists, one block, five steals and had five turnovers. They shot 37.5 percent from the free throw line (3 of 8). 

Baker led the Waves with eight points in the first half with a trio of Waves scoring six each. Pepperdine shot 40.9 percent from the field (9 of 22), while failing to convert a three-point field goal (0 of 2).  The Waves collected 17 rebounds, five assists, one steal and had eight turnovers. They shot 92.3 percent from the free throw line (12 of 13).

Foster started the half with with an easy layup, but Baker responded with a mid-range jumper. Yannick Atanga excited the crowd with two blocks on the same Pepperdine possession with SCU leading 41-32.

Cowels III scored his 1,000th career point at 16:20 in the second half to push the Broncos lead to 12. He is the fourth active Santa Clara player to reach the 1,000-point club.

Raines knocked down a jumper for Pepperdine to pull the Waves within 10 points, 44-34. Atif Russell knocked down a long-range jumper that cut Santa Clara's lead to eight with 15:15 remaining in the half. Jackson continued the Pepperdine run with a layup.

Roquemore stopped Pep's run with a jumper inside the paint that gave the Broncos' an eight-point cushion. On the defensive end, Atanga came up with another block and turned it into a second-chance putback on the Broncos' ensuing possession. Davis hit two jumpers that pulled Pepperdine within six.

Starting a 6-0 Bronco run, Atanga added a free throw that pushed SCU's advantage to seven, 49-42. After a Jackson miss and a Foster rebound, Trasolini wowed the crowd with a two-handed jam followed by a layup in transition on the next SCU possession that forced Pepperdine to burn a timeout, trailing 53-42 at 11:26.

B. Clark converted two free throws to extend the Broncos' lead to 55-42. Baker responded by sinking two free throws for Pepperdine. B. Clark continued to be an offensive sparkplug for Santa Clara with a pull-up floater that added to Santa Clara's double-digit advantage.

Baker hit an easy jumper for Pepperdine, but Foster answered for Santa Clara with his fifth three-point bucket of the night. 

With a 60-46 cushion, B. Clark added another layup for the Broncos. Davis and Mills both hit two from the charity stripe for the Waves to make it a 12-point contest, 62-50.

B. Clark continued to fuel the Broncos' offense late and added three free throws over two offensive possessions.

With roughly four minutes remaining in the game, Baker knocked down a contested triple for the Waves to pull Pepperdine within 12 points, 65-53.

B. Clark knocked down a fade-away jumper as the shot clock expired that gave Santa Clara a 14-point cushion.

Santa Clara would hold off Pepperdine in the final two minutes to cruise to a 70-60 victory.  

Game Notes

The 1992-93 Santa Clara team, who upset No. 2 seed Arizona in the NCAA Tournament in 1993, was honored in the first half.  Those honored didn't include two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash '93 as he is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.  But those honored tonight on the floor at the Leavey Center did include a number of players and then-head coach Carroll Williams and assistant coach Dick Davey.

Kevin Foster started his 114th career game. He is second all-time and needs to start three more games to break the school record set by Brian Jones (116, 1996-01).  Playing in his 122nd career game, Foster is tied for No. 6 in career games played with Brody Angley (2004-08) and Mitch Burley (1985-89).

Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini played in their 126th career game. They need to play in three more games to break the school record set by Ben Dowdell (128, 2007-11).  Trasolini is tied for eighth all-time with 98 career starts (Ben Dowdell, 2007-11).

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