Santa Clara will play the fifth game of its six-game homestand on Sat., Dec. 1 at 7 pm with Big West Conference member UC Santa Barbara. It will wrap up the homestand with a 7 pm game vs. Pacific Union on Sat., Dec. 8.
Santa Clara has won four of its last six games vs. the Gauchos dating back to 1997, but UCSB has won the last two. UCSB won 89-56 in Santa Barbara last year and UCSB won 80-69 in the Leavey Center on Dec. 4, 2010 when James Nunnally scored a career-high 34 in the Gaucho win. Santa Clara, 79-68 winners over the Gauchos on the road on Dec. 1, 2009, was led by Foster's 18 points before he broke his foot in the final minutes of the victory at the Thunderdome and had to be redshirted for the season after surgery.
WAC member Utah State ended SCU's perfect season with an 80-78 OT thriller on Nov. 28. USU's Preston Medlin hit a 3-point shot with 2.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and Danny Berger made three free throws in the final minute of OT. Evan Roquemore's game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer glanced off the rim handing the Broncos their first defeat of 2012-13.
The Broncos hold a 15-11 all-time lead over UCSB, and are 9-3 at home, in a series that began in 1964 and pitted West Coast Conference members against each other for six seasons. UCSB has won the last two series meetings following a four-game Santa Clara series win streak. The teams will face each other for the fourth straight season after not playing between 2002 and 2008. The schools squared off 14 times between 1964 and 1969 when both were West Coast Conference members.
Look and Listen
The UC Santa Barbara game on Saturday will be broadcast live (audio and video streaming) on the web at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and also live on KDOW 1220 AM with the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific. Anthony Passarelli is in his sixth season as the Broncos' play-by-play announcer. Out of the listening area, KDOW is streamed online at www.1220kdow.com.
Niyi Harrison saw his first game action of the season against Utah State on Nov. 28, but it wasn't much. Harrison entered the game with 46 seconds left in the first half and ended the stanza with no stats. He didn't play in the second half or OT. Harrison hadn't played in the first five gamed due to back spasms, but could be a key contributor if he gets healthy. The senior played In 100 games during his first three seasons and averaged career-bests of 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds while playing in all 30 games last season.
Santa Clara entered the week leading all of Division I with a 2.31 assist-turnover ratio and was one of just two schools to average more than two assists for each turnover (Pittsburgh 2.25). The Broncos, however, committed a season-high 14 turnovers against Utah State in their first loss of the season, 80-78, in OT on Nov. 28, and had more turnovers than assists in the game (14-13). The Broncos rank tied for 10th nationally in assists per game at 18.3 and have dished out assists on 62.9% of their field goals. SCU had a season-high 27 assists against Simpson on Nov. 10 and tallied 25 in the 89-74 win over Eastern Washington on Nov. 23. Against Utah State, Evan Roquemore dished out a season-high 9 assists for the second straight game and ranks tied for 19th nationally with 6.5 per game. SCU is averaging just 9.3 turnovers per game and have kept their turnovers in single digits three times this season with a season-low two against Simpson on Nov. 10.
Thanks to a 106 point output against Simpson College in their season opener and a team season field goal percentage hovering around 50, Santa Clara ranks 12th nationally in points per game at 84.5 (thru games of 11/28). The Broncos have shot 50% or better from the field in four of six games and have converted 49% of their shots on the season. Their point total in a 106-66 win over Simpson on Nov. 10 tied for the 13th highest in SCU history and was the first 100-point game since scoring 101 against Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 2008.
Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini, Evan Roquemore and Raymond Cowels III have started all six games for the Broncos and have combined for 286 starts in their Santa Clara careers. Each of the four have also logged over 22 minutes a game with Trasolini and Roquemore averaging over 30 minutes a contest. All that time on the court means production and the four have produced by accounting for over 70% of the teams scoring output. Foster (130 pts), Trasolini (101), Roquemore (76) and Cowels III (50) have scored 357 of the teams 507 points on the season.
Known more for his offensive prowess after leading the country in threes in 2011, Kevin Foster has shown a new dimension to his game early this season. The senior leads the country in steals with an average of 4.2 per game and has at least three in each contest. Foster established a career-best with seven steals in a win at St. Louis on Nov. 14, also matching a school record for the second-most in a game. Foster has totaled 25 steals in six games and is the only Bronco in double figures. He had a season-best total 61 steals during the 2010-11 season.
Evan Roquemore handed out a season-high 9 assists for the second straight game in Santa Clara's OT loss to Utah State on Nov. 28. He also tallied 9 against Eastern Washington on Nov. 23, and is tied for 19th nationally in assists per game with 6.5. It was the fifth time Roquemore has handed out 9 or more assists in a game in his career. The junior from Henderson, Nev. also added 23 points and just missed his third career double-double. At his current pace for the entire season, Roquemore has a shot at breaking John Woolery's 1993-94 single season record of 190 and could also become the fourth Bronco with 500 career assists by the end of his junior season.
Kevin Foster broke Kurt Rambis' career points record at 16:01 in the second half of the Saint Louis win, and now sits at No. 1 all-time for the Broncos with 1,821 points. Rambis, the WCC Player of the Year in 1980, scored 1,735 points from 1976-80.
Foster has scored in double figures in five of six games this season totaling 130 points (21.7 ppg). Against Utah State on Nov. 28, Foster scored his 1,800th career point on, what else, a 3-point basket. He was also fouled on the play and converted his second 4-point play of the season. He totaled a game-high 27 points upping his career total to 1,821 and passed Clint Richardson (1,803), Darrell Tucker (1,805) and Matt Santangelo (1,810) to move into 15th place on the West Coast Conference career chart. It is unlikely he will catch LMU's Hank Gathers (1987-90) for the league's top spot (2,490), but Foster could crack the top five and at his current pace for an entire season take the No. 2 overall spot, currently held by LMU's Terrell Lowery (2,201).
Foster has shot better than 50% from the field in three of Santa Clara's six games this season and made exactly half of his field goal attempts in one other. The Broncos have won 11 straight games when the senior makes more than half his shots and the team is 14-2 all-time when Foster tops the 50% mark.
Foster scored a team season-high 30 points in a 74-62 win at St. Louis on Nov. 14, the fifth game of 30 or more points in his career and the first time he's reached that total since scoring 35 points at SMU on March 25, 2011. The Broncos have won the last four games in which Foster scores 30 or more and are 4-1 in the five games when he reaches that plateau.
At Saint Louis Foster was 10 of 18, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. He also collected seven steals and five assists in 35 minutes. His seven steals were tied for second-best in school history in a single game with two other players and the most since Deron Perkins had 10 steals at San Diego on Feb. 24, 2005.
After becoming just the third player in West Coast conference history to make over 300 3-point shots in a career, Kevin Foster has his sights set on the league's all-time record. Foster currently has 326 career made 3's, good for third place in WCC history. He is just 10 behind Portland's Jared Stohl for the second spot. LMU's Jeff Fryer (1987-90) holds the WCC mark with 363 career made 3-pointers. Foster has made at least one 3-point shot in 94 of his 100 games played and has made five or more in a game 23 times. He topped Steve Nash's school record of 263 threes (1992-96) early last season.
In Santa Clara's 88-75 win over Air Force on March 18, 2010, Kevin Foster broke the school record with nine threes, tying a career-high with 36 points. He also had a career-high 36 in Santa Clara's 85-71 win over Gonzaga on Jan. 20, 2011. Foster shattered the WCC single season threes made record with 140 in 2010-11 and grabbed the country's top spot in threes made per game as well with 3.68. His 768 points that season were No. 6 on the WCC's single season points scored list as he finished as the leading scorer in a single season in the Bay Area as well. He broke the school's single season mark for points scored, minutes played, threes made and threes attempted. Foster was named first-team All-WCC and was named the WCC Player of the Month for February and March. He was named the WCC Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Foster was nicknamed 'Microwave' by his father during his youth after the Detroit Piston's Vinnie Johnson. Johnson earned the nickname 'the Microwave' from Celtics guard Danny Ainge for his ability to score many points in a short period of time, heating up the offense. Foster has scored 15+ points in 68 of 101 career games and he has scored 19+ in 48 career games.