The Broncos, who played three of their first four WCC contests on the road, continue their three-game homestand vs. LMU on Mon., Jan. 24 at 7 pm. Santa Clara began an eight day stretch on Saturday with four games: falling 93-77 vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's on Saturday; and then the Broncos will host LMU on Mon., Jan. 23 at 7 pm and USF at 8 pm on Thurs., Jan. 26 on COMCAST California. It will finish the stretch with a 7 pm game at Pepperdine on Sat., Jan. 28.
Santa Clara swept the season series with the Lions last season, winning 79-72 in Los Angeles on Jan. 29 and then 94-88 in double overtime on Feb. 24 in the Leavey Center. The Broncos also knocked them out of the 2011 WCC Tournament with a 76-68 victory on March 5 in Las Vegas.
SCU is 83-51 vs. the Lions all-time with Santa Clara leading 41-24 at home. Santa Clara is looking for its eighth win in 10 tries vs. the Lions, sweeping the season series three of last four years with the Lions sweeping the season series in 2009-10.
Santa Clara is 8-10 and 0-5 in the WCC this season after falling 84-74 at Portland Jan. 5; 82-60 at No. 25 Gonzaga on Jan. 7; 75-62 vs. San Diego on Jan. 12, 95-78 at BYU on Jan. 14 and then 93-77 vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's on Jan. 21.
LMU is 11-8 and 4-2 in the WCC. In its last game, LMU won 82-68 at BYU on Jan. 19, winning its fourth straight WCC game. Anthony Ireland led the charge with a career-high 27 points with five assists and five steals. The Lions are 6-2 on the road this season, winning four in a row on the road for the first time since the 1990-91 season and have matched the 2009-10 LMU team for the most road wins since that 1990-91 season. The Lions have won their first four road games in conference play for the first time since the Lions went 14-0 in league play in the 1987-88 season.
Last 9 SCU-LMU meetings:
SCU 76, LMU 68 (Mar. 5, 2011)
SCU 94, LMU 88 (Feb. 24, 2011)*
SCU 79, LMU 72 (Jan. 29, 2011)
LMU 73, SCU 67 (Feb. 11, 2010)
LMU 81, SCU 70 (Jan. 16, 2010)
SCU 69, LMU 64 (Feb 14, 2009)
SCU 82, LMU 56 (Jan 29, 2009)
SCU 66, LMU 46 (Feb 18, 2008)
SCU 58, LMU 35 (Jan 19, 2008)
* - 2 OT
See and Hear
The LMU game will 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 7 p.m. on KDOW 1220AM. 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.
The Broncos are 6-3 at home this season, 2-1 in neutral site games and 0-6 on the road. Its 6-0 home record to start the season was the best for Santa Clara since it started the 1988-89 season 7-0 on its home court.
The Broncos have three players averaging double figures: Kevin Foster leads team with 17.8 ppg, Evan Roquemore scores 14.0 ppg and Niyi Harrison 10.8 ppg. Foster is just 46 points scored from breaking Kurt Rambis' school record for career points scored with 1,736 from 1976-80. Roquemore leads the team with 5.3 apg. Harrison leads the team with 6.4 rpg.
Three Broncos average double figures in conference play with Foster leading with 15.6 ppg, Harrison with 14.8 and Roquemore 12.8 ppg. Harrison is the leading rebounder in league play with 5.2 rpg and Roquemore leads the team with 3.8 apg. Harrison scored a career-high 23 points vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's on Saturday, a team-high in a league game this year.
Foster is No. 3 in the country with 3.6 threes per game. He ranks No. 49 nationally in scoring and No. 54 in three-point percentage (38.6). Roquemore ranks No. 42 nationally in assists per game with 5.3 and No. 96 in free throw percentage at 82.1 percent.
Foster, who has 311 threes made in his career and broke Steve Nash's career threes record on Nov. 25 vs. Oklahoma, passed Blake Stepp (Gonzaga, 2000-04) in the Broncos' 75-55 victory over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29 to move to No. 3 on the WCC all-time threes made list. He is No. 4 on the Bronco career points scored list with 1,691, passing No. 6 John Bryant, the 2009 WCC Player of the Year, on Jan. 14 when he scored 22 points at BYU and then he scored 22 again vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's the next game to pass No. 5 Dennis Awtrey, who scored 1,675 points from 1967-7, and No. 4 Steve Nash, who scored 1,689 points from 1992-96. To move past No. 3 Brian Jones (1,722 points, 1996-01), Foster needs 32 points. When he scores 31 more, he will be tied with Jones and sitting at No. 25 all-time on the WCC scoring list.
Foster Climbs Up the Bronco Career Points Scored List
1. Kurt Rambis (1976-80) 1,736
2. Harold Keeling (1981-85) 1,731
3. Brian Jones (1996-01) 1,722
4. Kevin Foster (2008-) 1,691
5. Steve Nash (1992-96) 1,689
6. Dennis Awtrey (1967-70) 1,675
Harrison has nine 7+ rebound games this year, pulling down nine rebounds with a career-high 23 points. He has three double-doubles in his career, John McArthur has two and Roquemore has one (points and assists).
Raymond Cowels III has 3+ threes in eight of the last 14 games, including a career-high six 3s vs. Villanova.
Cowels III, McArthur and Roquemore have started all 18 games, Harrison has started 17 of 18 and Foster 16 of 187 this season. Foster didn't start vs. San Diego because of a missed class. Two freshmen have also started this year: Clark started his first career game vs. San Diego and Denzel Johnson started his lone career game vs. Pacifica.
The Broncos are No. 11 nationally with 8.7 threes per game and also lead the WCC. The Broncos have shot 116 more threes than their opponents this season. SCU has shot 430 and the opponents have shot 314. In return, the Broncos have made 47 more than their opponents (157 to 110 made). Of the 1046 shots attempted by the Broncos this year, 41.0 % have come beyond the arc. The opponents are shooting 35.0 percent beyond the arc.
With the loss of All-WCC forward Marc Trasolini (torn ACL), Santa Clara is one of the youngest teams 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).
Looking back, SCU finished last season 24-14 and won the post-season CIT with All-WCC guard Foster collecting MVP honors.
Evan Roquemore is averaging 5.33 apg, including 3.80 apg in league play. Roquemore is No. 42 nationally in apg and he is No. 2 in apg in league play as well. He has collected 7+ assists in six games this season and 4+ assists in 13 of 18 games.
This season he is leading the team in apg and also in free throw percentage, hitting 82.1 percent of his chances (78 of 95).Last season he broke the Bronco freshman assist record with 139, topping Brian Jones who scored 119 assists in 1996-97. Roquemore is shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line this season after breaking the freshman records for free throws made (159) and attempted (193) last season, coming .001 from tying Steve Nash's record for free throw percentage. Nash was 82.5 percent from the free throw line in 1992-93 and Roquemore was 82.4 percent (159 of 193) last season.
Three-less Not Often
Kevin Foster has been a shooting machine on the Mission Campus. He has hit double figures in 70 of the last 74 games (94.5 percent). All told, he has hit double figures in 82 of 95 career games (86.3 percent). He has hit at least one three in 89 of 95 career games (93.6 percent). Foster has hit a three in 45 of his 46 career home games. The one game he didn't hit a three in: his freshman year he was 0-5 from beyond the arc vs. San Diego on Jan. 11, 2008.
Foster has 15+ points in 12 of 18 games this season including 26-point performances vs. New Mexico (Nov. 24) and Pacific (Dec. 17) and 22-point shows at BYU (Jan. 14) and vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's (Jan. 21). He is also lights out from behind the arc, having made 4+ threes in half of the games including six vs. UOP and EMU.
Foster was a strong nominee for the December WCC POM. Foster averaged 20.0 ppg, over two points higher than his career ppg. He finished with 32.9 mpg, up considerably from the 29.3 he averaged in November and nearly a minute more than what he averaged last season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field which was a significant increase from his November marks and also was an increase over his career shooting percentage of 38.9. He shot a blistering 46.8 percent from three point range. He added 3.14 apg while committing 2.57 topg and had 1.43 spg as well.
Last year Foster led the country in threes made, threes attempted and threes per game. He also led the league in scoring.
vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's
The 211th meeting between Saint Mary's and Santa Clara was hotly contested the entire game in front a capacity crowd of 4,700 fans in the Leavey Center on Saturday night with the Gaels edging the Broncos 93-77.
Santa Clara will host Loyola Marymount Monday night at 7 pm in the Leavey Center.
The Broncos were led by Niyi Harrison's career-high 23 points and nine rebounds. With Kevin Foster's 22 points, Foster has now moved to No. 4 all-time on the career points scored list in Santa Clara history. Evan Roquemore added 13 points and four assists. Foster added a team-high six assists. Robert Garrett scored three blocks.
In the wake of Mark Trasolini's season-ending ACL tear, Niyi Harrison has stepped up and filled the frontcourt void admirably. The 6-9 junior has started every game with the exception of Portland while grabbing 8+ rebounds in 10 of 18 contests including a career-high 13 vs. EMU. He has also made significant growth offensively, scoring in double figures 11 times including a career-high 23 vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's and 19 point games vs. New Mexico and at Portland. He leads the team with three double-doubles.
The team's starting center, John McArthur, has pulled down 6+ rebounds in 6 of 18 games including a career-best 12 boards at Houston Baptist. He has two career double-doubles this season (vs. San Jose State and at Houston Baptist).
True freshman Robert Garrett and freshman-redshirt Yannick Atanga have both come off the bench to play inside as well. Atanga is the team's second-leading rebounder with 5.3 rpg. Garrett has averaged 6.7 mpg in 16 games with 1.3 ppg and 1.5 rpg. He collected a season-high three blocks vs. No. 23 Saint Mary's.
Adding It Up
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 64 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 No. 3 on the West Coast Conference career threes made list with 311, passing Blake Stepp with 288 (2000-04) vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29. He needs 53 to break the WCC career record held by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90) and 26 to move past Jared Stohl at No. 2 (336, 2007-11).
Foster's 311 threes made are also a Bay Area record and he hit the mark faster than Nash (took Foster 82 games to hit 263 threes and Nash set the record playing in 113 games). Consider this: Foster averages 3.3 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 challenge the NCAA record set by J.J. Redick of Duke (457 in 139 games).
Foster is climbing up the Bronco career scoring list as well. At No. 4 with 1,691 points, he needs 46 points to catch school record holder Kurt Rambis (1,736, 1976-80, No. 21 on the WCC list). If he stays on pace with 17.8 ppg this season, Foster would break the school record at Pepperdine on Jan. 26 in the first half. The WCC record is 2,490 by Hank Gathers (1987-90) when he averaged 28.0 ppg over his three year career with the Lions. Foster would need to average 17.9 ppg if he played in all 31 games this season and next to catch the record. Only six players have scored 2,000 points in West Coast Conference history.
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. In Dallas last March for its CIT game at SMU, the team stopped by the Timberwolves hotel, in town to play the Mavs that night, to say hello to former Bronco and then-NBA head coach Rambis. Rambis greeted each SCU 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."
Charity and Dishes
Evan Roquemore has shot 80.0 percent or better at the free throw line in 10 of 17 games (didn't go to free throw line at Gonzaga), including 8 of 8 vs. New Mexico, 8 of 9 vs. Villanova and 11 of 12 vs. San Diego. Against Wagner in the Cable Car Classic Championship Roquemore converted a clutch four-point play, sinking a three while being fouled and nailing the free throw. Roquemore also has at least four assists in 12 of 17 games including a career-high 11 assists vs. UOP and 10 vs. Oklahoma.
After being selected to the 76 Classic Five-Man All-Tournament team and leading the WCC in points and assists per game and free throw percentage, 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.
At the 76 Classic, the sophomore averaged 22.7 points and eight 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. It is a first-time honor for the sophomore from Henderson, Nev.
Roquemore led SCU to victories over New Mexico and Villanova Thanksgiving weekend, and a third-place finish at the 76 Classic. In the 79-76 OT win over pre-tournament favorite New Mexico, 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 'Cats with Roquemore hitting four clutch free throws with less than 10 seconds left to clinch the win.
Raymond Cowels III has had success from deep with seven games of 3+ threes including six vs. Villanova. He has also shot 83.3 percent or better from the line in five games, proving to be a reliable free-throw shooter.