Men's Basketball Opens Season with 82-77 Win
Marc Trasolini's fourth career double-double paced the Broncos in their season opener as Santa Clara defeated Cal State Bakersfield 82-77 at the Leavey Center. Kevin Foster added 19 points in 31 minutes for the Broncos in his first game since Dec. 1st, 2009. Santa Clara travels to Los Angeles for a 7:30 pm date on Mon., Nov. 15 with the University of Southern California.
"We need to be a lot better from the free throw line, but we did enough to win tonight but I wouldn't say we were in a comfortable position," said Santa Clara Head Coach Kerry Keating, who is 4-0 in season openers. "I think we learned no matter how many times we shoot free throws in practice for repetition it is a much different situation in games. We overcame adversity in the end by making extra passes, but we played 11 guys tonight, which speaks to our depth."
Santa Clara shot 43.9 percent, including 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. Santa Clara had 38 rebounds and seven steals with 16 turnovers. Cal State Bakersfield shot 46 percent, including 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. Bakersfield had 31 rebounds, one block and 12 steals with 21 turnovers.
Trasolini finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Evan Roquemore had 14 points and four assists in 27 minutes in his first career collegiate game. Ben Dowdell finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
Donavan Bragg, who finished with 21 points, led the Roadrunners. He was 4-7 from three. Bragg also collected four rebounds. Stephon Carter who finished with 13 points and five boards also led Bakersfield. Alex Johnson finished with 12 points and two steals.
The teams traded baskets at the start of the game. Carter opened up the scoring with a jumper at 19:37. Foster answered with a layup at 19:09 and tied the score at two.
Niyi Harrison threw down an emphatic dunk as he was fouled with 13:37 left in the first half, and after converting the three-point play, the Broncos held on to a 15-13 lead.
The Roadrunners countered with a 6-0 run to take a 19-15 lead with 12:17 remaining.
Two free throws by Raymond Cowels with 7:04 remaining cut the Roadrunners' lead to one, 26-25.
Roquemore scored his first collegiate basket on a three-pointer to put the Broncos in front 31-30 with 4:30 remaining in the half. This broke a streak from 13:21-4:30 in which the Broncos were trailing or tied with the Roadrunners.
With 3:16 left, Kevin Foster stole the ball and drove to the basket and converted the layup to tie the scored at 33.
Roquemore knocked down four free throws as the Broncos finished the half on a 9-3 run after Michael Santos tipped in a basket with three seconds remaining. Santa Clara took a four-point lead. The score at the half was 40-36.
After the first half, Santa Clara shot 41.2 percent, including 23.1 from beyond the arc. They were just nine of 15 from the free throw line. Bakersfield shot 41.9 percent, including 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. Kevin Foster led all Broncos in the first half with 13 points, but was just 2 of 7 from the three-point line. Troy Payne added six points with four rebounds and Trasolini grabbed six rebounds and five points. Donavan Bragg's 11 points led Bakersfield.
To start the second half Trasolini added a basket and then CSUB scored a basket and two free throws to inch back in the game. The Broncos held on to a 42-40 lead with 18:11 remaining.
Foster knocked down two threes in the first four minutes, the second of which came at 15:41, to put the Broncos up 50-46.
The Roadrunners stormed back and took the lead, 52-50 at 14:36, after Carter converted a three-point play. Dowdell responded by converting a three-point of his own at 13:23 to put Santa Clara back in front 53-52.
Trasolini knocked down two free throws to tie the scored at 57 with 11:09 remaining.
Trasolini nailed a three with 6:51 remaining to put the Broncos in the lead 65-64. Roquemore continued his productive night with baskets at 6:18 and 4:42, and after his second basket the Broncos took a 71-68 lead.
After Santa Clara took a seven-point lead, Alex Johnson hit three free throws with 3:04 remaining to cut the Broncos lead to 74-70.
With 2:02 remaining in the game, Roquemore drove to the basket and dished the ball off to Dowdell who finished with a two-handed dunk and the Broncos extended the lead to 77-70.
Alex Johnson hit a three with 49.5 seconds left to cut the Broncos lead to 79-75.