Basketball wins at undefeated UC Santa Barbara 79-68

Dec. 1, 2009

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Santa Clara came out of a timeout to go on a 13-4 run at 15:16 in the first half and never looked back, defeating UC Santa Barbara 79-68 in Santa Barbara and won its fourth-straight game vs. the Gauchos. Santa Clara is 4-3 and UC Santa Barbara is 4-1. Santa Clara hosts No. 21 UNLV on Saturday night at 7 pm at the Leavey Center.

"We had so much energy off our bench tonight. This was a total team effort," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "I was really proud of our guys. They are taking steps, getting better and realizing how hard you have to work on the road. We are overcoming adversity as we go. Without Ben Dowdell, our best defensive player, and not playing with our leading scorer the last five and a half minutes of this game, we are growing up. We played with four freshmen on the floor many times. They aren't perfect, but we aren't asking them to be. I just want them to play hard. That's what we want."

Santa Clara shot 45.3 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from the three. They had 33 rebounds, 12 steals, 10 assists and three blocks. Santa Clara turned the ball over 16 times. UCSB shot 43.1 percent including 31.8 percent from beyond the arc. UCSB had 36 rebounds, 10 steals, 16 assists and 23 turnovers. Santa Clara was 24 of 31 from the free throw line, including 18 of 24 from the free throw line in the second half with Troy Alexander hitting six of nine, all in the second half.

Kevin Foster led the Broncos with 18 points, including three three pointers. Marc Trasolini had 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Raymond Cowels had 13 and Robert Smith added 11.

Down 10-7 to UCSB after a mini-four-point run by the Gauchos, Keating hollered for a 30-second time out at 15:16 to quiet the storm. Santa Clara responded with a 13-4 run, including two three-pointers by Cowels and a couple baskets by Niyi Harrison.

Santa Clara stretched its lead to 29-20 on Cowels' third three of the night and a wide-open dunk by Trasolini at 5:53.

Foster put down his first three of the night at 2:37 to give SCU a 10-point lead at 37-27. Trasolini went up strong to the rim to give SCU a 39-27 lead and Foster hit a three with 50 seconds left to give SCU a 15-point lead at 42-27.

Cowels had 13 at the half and Foster chipped in 11. It was the second straight game SCU had two players in double figures in the first half. UCSB had 15 turnovers in the first half to SCU's own eight.

In the second half, Santa Clara took a 51-38 lead on three pairs of free throws by Trasolini, Foster and Smith. Two more free throws by Troy Payne made it 53-38 Broncos at 14:59.

A short jumper by Michael Santos at 12:35 gave Santa Clara a 57-41 lead, its largest lead of the night, 16 points thus far. Santa Clara went more than four minutes without a basket when Trasolini hit a jumper and Foster knocked down a three to give SCU a 62-46 lead. But UCSB responded with a three of its own to make it 62-49 Broncos at 7:10.

Santa Clara went up 66-49 on back-to-back baskets by Harrison (6:12) and Trasolini (5:34). At the last media with 3:18 on the clock, Santa Clara held a 10-point lead at 66-56.

With 2:38 left, Troy Alexander hit two free throws to give Santa Clara a 12 point lead, 68-56. Alexander stepped up to the line and again at 1:56 and hit two more to make it 70-59 SCU. UCSB got within 10 at 1:51 on a free throw, 70-60 SCU.

Alexander hit another free throw, but missed the second. Trasolini grabbed a huge rebound and soon enough Michael Santos was fouled and stepped to the line at 1:37, with SCU up 72-60, to hit one.

With 1:20 on the clock, Smith bricked the first but crushed the second free throw to give SCU a 73-62 lead. UCSB came back with a basket to make it 73-64, but missed a chance to cut the lead to eight after it missed a free throw line.

For the fourth time in the half, Alexander stepped to the line to sink one of two to make it 74-64 SCU at 58.0.

Smith stepped to the line for two at 40.7 and hit the first before UCSB called timeout. Smith sunk the second one to put SCU up 76-64.

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