Broncos Takes Down USF in West Coast Conference Opener
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Opening the 2013 West Coast Conference slate, Santa Clara beat San Francisco 74-69 behind Marc Trasolini's ninth career double-double. Santa Clara is now 12-3 overall and 1-0 in WCC play while San Francisco is 7-7 and 0-1 in the WCC. Santa Clara is now 9-2 all-time in games after playing the nation's top team.
It was the first conference win for Santa Clara since a 94-88 win vs. LMU in double overtime on Feb. 26, 2011.
The Broncos will next play on Sat., Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. vs. No. 10 Gonzaga at the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara shot 39.1% (27-69) from the field and were 10-29 from three. The Broncos outrebounded the Dons 42-33 and forced 12 turnovers including nine in the first half.
Four Broncos scored in double figures. Kevin Foster led the way on offense for Santa Clara with 21 points on 5-17 shooting and 5-11 from three. Foster is five threes from tying the WCC career threes record set by Jeff Fryer of LMU (363, 1987-90).
Trasolini had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Cowels III was 5-11 from the field and 3-7 from deep for 13 points. He added seven rebounds while Evan Roquemore scored 12 coming off the bench. Yannick Atanga had 13 rebounds.
Cole Dickerson had a double-double for USF with a team-high 17 points and 12 boards. Cody Doolin scored 16 on 7-15 shooting while Avry Holmes added 12 points and four rebounds. USF shot 47.3% (26-55) from the field and 9-22 from downtown. The Dons were 8-12 from the free throw line.
"Rebounds were obviously the story of this game," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keathing. "It doesn't matter if you win by one, five or 15 points as long as you are 1-0. When April 2, 2012 came around we put the 0-16 record behind us. No one is going to quit and we're fortunate to have some experienced players on our side."
"When you get up 19 it's natural that you get a little lackadaisical and the other team has nothing to lose," said Foster. "We were lacking in the effort department but we came back and won the game so we're always happy about that. Teams are really keying in on me and we have a lot of players that can make shots so we're making the right play to score."
"Kevin was hitting shots, Ray was hitting shots and some of the guys were hitting threes," said Trasolini. "When that happens other teams pressure us and the slips are open so we get some stuff going towards the basket. We had a pretty balanced effort tonight and guys stepped up for a great win. People know about Kevin's shooting but he's also one of the best passers in the conference and when people pressure him he can make the right read."
Doolin got the scoring started at the 18:43 to give USF an early 2-0 lead. On a fast break Doolin dribbled down the court and hit a runner in the lane.
On the other end Trasolini answered with a layup to even the score at 2-2.
At 17:30 Foster gave the Broncos their first lead with his first three pointer of the game. The next time down the court Cowels III made a layup to put Santa Clara on a 7-0 run over 1:44 and put them up 7-2.
Dickerson ended the run with a dunk but Santa Clara was able to answer and go up 10-4 on a three by Roquemore at 16:18.
Dickerson hit a three out of the first media timeout and Doolin followed with a layup to get the Dons within one at 10-9.
After USF cut the lead to one again at 14-13, Roquemore connected with Trasolini on an alley-oop to put the Broncos back up by 3. Dickerson hit a three at the other end of the court to tie the game and Avery Holmes hit another three to put USF up 19-16. The Dons scored six points in under 30 seconds.
Brandon Clark put Santa Clara back on top at 24-23 at 5:50 on a layup from the left side. Cowels III and Foster each followed with threes and Trasolini dunked to extend the Santa Clara run to 12-0 over three and a half minutes. The run put the Broncos up 32-23.
Tim Derksen ended the Santa Clara run with a three from the right corner at 3"05 but the Broncos answered with a layup by Yannick Atanga to make the score 34-26 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.
Santa Clara outscored USF 19-5 over the final 7:23 of the first half to take a 39-28 lead into the locker room.
Foster led Santa Clara on offense with nine points while Trasolini had eight and Roquemore added seven. Atanga led the Broncos with six first half rebounds. Santa Clara shot 45.9% (17-37) from the field and 5-14 from deep. The defense forced nine USF turnovers.
Dickerson scored a team-high nine first half points for the Dons on 4-7 from the field. Doolin had six points and Holms and Tim Derksen each added five. Dickerson also had four rebounds to lead his team. The Dons shot 41.4% (12-29) from the field and 4-13 from three.
It was the first time since Nov. 25, 2011 that Santa Clara did not attempt a free throw in the first half and the first time the Dons did not attempt a free throw in the first half since Jan. 15, 2011 at Saint Mary's. The last time Santa Clara played in a game where neither team attempted a free throw in the first half was Jan. 11, 2009 vs. San Diego.
Santa Clara had possession out of halftime and Cowels III hit a three from the right corner to put the Broncos up 14. The next time down the court Roquemore nailed another Santa Clara three to push the lead out to 17 at 45-28 and force the Dons to call a timeout.
Derksen hit one of two free throws at 18:47 for USF's first points in the second half but Santa Clara answered at the other end with a Foster three.
USF scored a quick five points over 30 seconds to cut the deficit to 14 at 48-34 but the Broncos answered with a beautiful pass from Foster to Trasolini for a dunk to push the score to 50-34 with just over 16 minutes remaining.
The Dons go the score within 11 points at the 10:30 mark on back-to-back buckets by Dickerson.
After a pair of free throws by Foster, Chris Adams hit one from deep to make the score 61-51 Broncos. The Dons followed with an 10-4 run over 6:53 to get the score within five points at 63-58 Santa Clara.
A blocking foul on USF in the back court left Foster with a bloody nose and he had to be removed from the game. Brandon Clark came in and missed the front end of the one-and-one. Derksen hit a three at the other end to get the Dons within two points at 67-65 with 1:26 left.
With the shot clock winding down Foster launched a deep three that went in and out but Trasolini grabbed the offensive board and put it back in but Doolin answered at the other end with a layup to keep the deficit at two points with 35.9 second remaining.
Following a USF timeout Roquemore was fouled and nailed both shots of a one-and-one to make it a two possession game at 71-67.
USF was unable to score and Foster was sent to the free throw line where he his one of two to make the score 72-67 with nine seconds remaining.
Doolin scored to cut the lead to three again and the Dons fouled Trasolini with the score 72-69. Trasolini made both to seal the win for the Broncos at 74-69.