Led by four Broncos in double figures, including CBE Classic MVP Marc Trasolini's 25 points, who missed last season with a torn ACL, Santa Clara defeated Eastern Washington 89-74 on Friday at the Leavey Center. Santa Clara is 5-0 and Eastern Washington is 1-5.
It is Santa Clara's first 5-0 start since it started the season at 21-0 in 1968-69. That team, led by head coach Dick Garibaldi, finished the year at 27-2, losing to No. 1 UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos were ranked No. 3 by the AP and No. 4 by the UPI in the final poll.
On winning three games in four days this week. "We are working on staying in the moment. We are trying not to get ahead of ourselves, playing one game at a time," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "Our focus today was this game. We only worry about one game at a time. This is a huge statement so far for us - it's a huge testament to our team and their character and their ability to focus. We worked a lot on that this summer and this fall. We learned a lot from last year."
Trasolini was named the MVP after averaging 25 points and four rebounds the last three games as part of the CBE Classic. Kevin Foster and Evan Roquemore were named All-Tournament along with Torrey Craig of USC Upstate, Venky Jois of Eastern Washington and Ben Aird of Utah Valley.
Santa Clara remains at home next week for two games. They will host Utah State on Wed., Nov. 28 at 7 pm and then UC Santa Barbara at 7 pm on Sat., Dec. 1.
"I have to thank my teammates for having confidence in me," said Trasolini. "We have two goals every game. The first is to outwork the other team defensively. The second is to outwork them on energy."
When asked about coming back from the torn ACL Trasolini said "I am through that. I did my struggling and now I am feeling good."
Foster scored 17, adding three threes and three assists and three steals. Foster currently leads the nation in steals per game. Roquemore was one assist from his second career double-double, adding 11 points and nine assists. Raymond Cowels III had 12 points with three rounds, scoring 4 of 5 three attempts.
The Eagles were led by Collin Chiverton's 19 points. Jois scored 11 points with six rebounds.
Santa Clara started the first half on a 11-2 run, including an 8-0 start. Foster scored a three and then Roquemore added one himself. Foster stole it and drove down the court for a lay-up at 18:49. After a basket by the Eagles, Cowels III knocked down a three at 18:16 and Trasolini a jumper at 17:20.
EWU went on a 9-2 run next. WU scored a couple buckets to pull within 7 at 18:34. Chiverton hit a three at 14:12 to pull the Eagles within two, 15-11. J. Clarke scored a jumper at 13:40 to put SCU up 15-11, but Hickert answered with a pair of free throws to tie it up 15-15.
Foster's jumper gave the Broncos a 17-15 lead at 11:54. A three by Hickert gave the Eagles a 18-17 lead at 11:20. Cowels III answered with one his own at 11:06.
The Broncos then went on another run, this one 20-7. Foster hit a bucket off the glass at 9:49. Foster, who leads the country in steals per game, picked up his second steal of the game and laid it up for two to put the Broncos up 24-18 at 9:30. Timeout Eagles. Trasolini scored inside at 8:52. Chiverton answered with a three at 8:30 – their first basket in almost three minutes.
Foster answered with his own three and then Cowels III hit his third of the game at 7:23. Roquemore sank a three at the top of the key off a dandy pass by Trasolini. Johnson drove in down the baseline for a bucket at 4:09 and then scored inside again at 3:27. Trasolini scored a couple free throws before Danny Powell hit a three, but Trasolini answered for the Broncos again, hitting his own three at 2:23.
The Broncos led 47-30 at the half.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 56.3 percent from the field (18 of 32), including 50.0 from beyond the arc (9 of 18). SCU had 15 assists, 16 rebounds, four steals, four blocks and had five turnovers. Eastern Washington shot 35.7 percent from the field (10 of 28), including 50.0 from beyond the arc (4 of 8). EWU had five assists, 19 rebounds, one steal, two blocks and had nine turnovers.
The Broncos were led by Foster's 14 points in the first half. Trasolini added 12 and Cowels III had nine. Chiverton added 12 for the Eagles.
In the second half, Trasolini added a three-point play and Cowels III hit his fourth three of the game. Trasolini made a free throw at 16:47 to score his 17th point of the game, putting SCU up 55-33.
Chiverton answered with a three.
After back-to-back dunks by the Eagles, Trasolini dunked it at 15:18. Tyler Harvey scored a three at 14:49 and Jeffrey Forbes added one at 13:55, cutting SCU's lead to 13, 59-46. Foster hit a three at 12:54 to give him 17 points and three threes.
John McArthur hit a free throw at 11:21. Roquemore scored a couple of his own at 11:14, 68-50 Broncos. Brandon Clark laid it in at 9:16 for a bucket, 68-52 Broncos. Danny Powell answered with a three at 8:44.
Trasolini grabbed the ball rolling on the ground and turned around to dunk it for his 23rd points of the day at 8:06. Kevin Winford hit a three at 7:50.
Trasolini put the Broncos up 80-61 with a bucket. Johnson connected on a pair of free throws at 6:13.
The crowd loved it when senior walk-on Kyle Perricone scored a three with 37.5 seconds left.