Behind a huge afternoon from senior Ben Dowdell in tying his career-high with 22 points and Kevin Foster scoring his 1000th career point, the Broncos beat Portland 72-59 on Saturday afternoon. The win pushed the Broncos to 12-9, 3-2 in conference play. The Pilots fell to 14-6, 2-3 in conference action. The Broncos will travel to Southern California to play Pepperdine on Thursday night at 7:30 P.M.
"Our coaches and our team are doing a good job getting them focused on the now. From time-out to time-out and game-to game, we are growing up. We made a strong emphasis at half-time that this was a 0-0 ballgame. They are a good team and they came out in the second half fighting, scratching and clawing. We learned from some of our past games in the second half quickly and I am happy with that."
"This win for us could be as important as Thursday night's win because of the emotional crowd we had. We all really appreciate all the people who came back for this game on a warm Saturday afternoon. We hope people understand how imporant our fans are and that we need them," added Keating. "Ben was really good today and helped us beat a team with some really good all-conference players."
Foster became the 28th Bronco to surpass 1,000 career points. Foster is the first sophomore in school history to reach the milestone. The last Bronco to reach 1,000 points was John Bryant in 2009. He finished sixth in career points. After the game, Kevin was honored with his parents Rick and Gilda Foster when Coach Keating presented the Fosters with the game ball.
On Foster: "We knew when we recruited him we knew he could shoot and he could score. The fact that he scored his average today and only took 10 shots, making 8 of 10 free throws says something," said Keating. "What Ben did today is a big part of what Kevin did as well. Working to be unselfish and so something for your teammates. He has a long way to go as a sophomore and he just needs to be patient and he will be even better. I am proud of his efforts."
Dowdell tied a career-high with 22 points while adding four rebounds. Foster scored 19 points, going 3-6 from three. Marc Trasolini added 14 points and seven boards, while Troy Payne registered a near double-double, scoring nine points and pulling down nine boards. Roquemore recorded six points and dished out six assists.
Luke Sikma led the Pilots with a career-high 29 points and 13 boards. Tim Douglas recorded thirteen points and two assists, while Kramer Knutson added six points and four boards.
Santa Clara shot 51.2 percent (21 of 41) from the field, including 30.0 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 10). The Broncos collected 18 rebounds, 12 assists, seven steals and four blocks. They shot 77.1 percent from the free throw line (27 of 35) with 11 turnovers. Portland shot 45.3 percent (24 of 53) from the field, including 12.5 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 16). The Pilots collected 22 rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and two blocks. They shot 90.0 percent from the free throw line (9 of 10) with 11 turnovers.
Payne opened up the games scoring with a floater at 18:44. The team's would trade baskets before Sikma converted an alley-oop pass at 16:15 to tie the game at four.
The two teams went back and forth for the next few minutes as Trasolini strung together six straight points for the Broncos. Luke Sikma converted a put back at 10:13 to put the Pilots up four, but Dowdell would convert a baseline jumper to cut the lead to two.
After a Payne free throw, Foster knocked down three free throws to put the Broncos back up two at 8:46. Foster then hit a transition three to put the Broncos up 5. Trasolini converted underneath the hoop to push the Broncos lead to seven at 6:06.
After a Dowdell free throw, Tim Douglas converted a layup ending the Broncos 14-0 run. Sikma converted a jumper, and Kramer Knutson threw down a transition dunk to cut the Santa Clara lead to four at 3:06.
After a Dowdell converted a layup, Douglas and Foster would exchange three's to keep the game at a six-point spread. Foster hit an off balance three with 5 seconds to go in the half, and the Broncos took a nine-point lead into the locker room.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 54.5 percent (12 of 22) from the field, including 42.9 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 7). The Broncos collected 13 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals. They shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line (7 of 9) with seven turnovers. Portland shot 44.0 percent (11 of 25) from the field, including 11.1 percent from beyond the arc (1 of 9). The Pilots collected 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals and one block. They shot 100 percent from the free throw line (2 of 2) with seven turnovers. Foster led the Broncos with 12 points, going 3 for 4 from three. Trasolini added eight points and five boards, while Payne scored five adding four boards. Sikma paced Portland with 10 points and five rebounds.
Dowdell scored the first points of the second half on a reverse layup. Roquemore found Dowdell underneath the basket and Trasolini converted a put back at 16:51 to put the Broncos up 15.
Spanning from the first half, the Broncos held the Pilots scoreless for 7:07, going on a 16-0 run until Douglas converted a layup at 15:09. Dowdell responded immediately with a layup of his own. The two teams traded points for the next couple minutes until Jared
Stohl knocked down his first three of the game at 12:25 to cut the Bronco lead to 12.
Stohl's free throws at 8:52 cut the Bronco lead to 10. Sikma knocked down his own pair of free throws at 8:29. Foster converted a step back jumper, but Sikma converted a layup to keep the lead at 8.
Dowdell converted a bank shot at 5:49 to push the Broncos lead back to double digits. After a Sikma putback, the Broncos would put together a 8-0 run over their own, capped by a pair Roquemore free throws at 3:01.
Sikma converted a tough fadeaway, and Douglas scored a quick bucket to cut the Bronco lead to 63-51. Roquemore responded with a free throw of his own, and Dowdell tipped out the second missed free throw to retain possession.
Foster converted two of his own free throws at 2:12, and the Pilots would never cut the lead to singe-digits the rest of the way.