SANTA CLARA, Calif. - While four Broncos finished in double figures, it wasn't enough to stop Saint Mary's as the Gaels outlasted Santa Clara 84-63 in the Leavey Center Thursday night. It was Saint Mary's eighth straight victory over the Broncos.
Santa Clara is 17-8 and 5-5 in the WCC. Saint Mary's is 20-4 and 9-1 in the WCC. Santa Clara is off until Feb. 14 when it hosts San Diego at 7 pm.
"We let one end of the floor effect the game too much," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "One game can't define our season. We have to get better in our next game. When we are good, we are very good. When we are bad, we are very bad and that's frustrating."
Santa Clara was led by Evan Roquemore, who scored 18 points, including 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Raymond Cowels III added 14 points, including two threes and three rebounds. Marc Trasolini scored 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field with five rebounds. Kevin Foster had 10 points and was 0 of 3 from beyond the arc, adding five assists.
Saint Mary's was led by Beau Levesque's career-best 24 points, while adding six rebounds and four assists. Brad Waldow scored 14 points with eight rebounds. Mitchell Young collected 12 points and nine rebounds. Matthew Dellavedova scored just four points, but tallied nine assists.
Santa Clara shot 40.8 percent from the field (20 of 49), including 21.4 percent from beyond the arc (3 of 14). The Broncos shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line (20 of 28). They collected 19 rebounds, nine steals, nine assists, five blocks and had nine turnovers.
Saint Mary's shot 55.6 percent from the field (30 of 54), including 60 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 20). The Gaels shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line (12 of 14). They collected 37 rebounds, three steals, 21 assists, four blocks and had 15 turnovers.
The Gaels struck first with two points in the paint from Waldow. On the ensuing Saint Mary's possession, Stephen Holt knocked down a three to give the Gaels an early 5-0 advantage. Dellavedova was called for an offensive foul that Cowels III took advantage of by knocking down a tough jumper on the offensive end at 16:13.
Trasolini and Foster paired to miss the Broncos' first four free throw attempts before Roquemore hit a pair at 15:01 to make it 6-4 SMC. Waldow and Jordan Giusti scored back-to-back basket's inside to push it to 10-4 SMC. Foster knocked down two from the charity stripe to pull Santa Clara within four, however, Mitchell Young responded for Saint Mary's with two points in the paint. Giusti added a floater that extended the Gaels' lead to 14-6 at 11:36.
Roquemore added two from the free throw line, but Levesque scored from way out for three. Cowels III drove inside for a bucket at 11:05. Levesque answered again from the same spot for a triple at 10:47 and Young's easy bucket inside at 10:08 forced a Santa Clara timeout with the Gaels leading 22-12.
Following the timeout, Foster converted two free throws to cut Saint Mary's lead to 22-14. However, James Walker III hit a triple. On the Broncos' next possession, Trasolini scored inside, but Leveque knocked down two threes to give the Gaels' a 15-point advantage.
Foster responded with an easy layup after slicing through the Saint Mary's defense. Following a defensive stop, Foster found Trasolini with a slick behind-the-back pass that Trasolini turned into a mid-range jumper to make the score 31-20 SMC.
Trailing 33-20, Foster drove the lane and banked in a tough shot. Levesque sunk two free throws to make Saint Mary's lead 13, 35-22. Jordan Page added to the Gaels' lead with two fastbreak points. Roquemore responded with a tough long-range jumper that Cowels III followed up with a triple to pull Santa Clara within 10. After Foster forced a turnover, Roquemore spun inside and cut the Gaels' lead to eight with a layup. However, Waldow added a second-chance opportunity to keep the Gaels' lead at 39-29.
With roughly one minute remaining in the half, Roquemore and Waldow traded free throws. Cowels III drained his second triple of the half to cut the Gaels' lead to 41-34 with 25.7 seconds left in the half. Trasolini blocked Waldow's attempt with time winding down. At halftime, Saint Mary's led 41-34.
In the first half, Santa Clara shot 37.9 percent from the field (11 of 29), including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 11). The Broncos shot 66.7 percent from the free throw line (10 of 15). They collected 11 rebounds, five steals, five assists, two blocks and had one turnover. Individually Roquemore and Cowels III led the Broncos with 10 points each. Trasolini added five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. The Broncos scored nine points off of turnovers.
Saint Mary's shot 57.7 percent from the field (15 of 26), including 60.0 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 10) with the bench scoring 22 points. The Gaels shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line (5 of 7). They collected 20 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks and had eight turnovers. Individually, Levesque led the Gaels with 15 points, scoring 3 of 4 from the free throw line and 4 of 4 from beyond the arc. Waldow chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Page started the second half with a triple and Young added a hook shot to put Saint Mary's up by 12. Trasolini hit a jumper that cut Saint Mary's lead to 10. Young added two from the free throw line to extend the Gaels' lead to 48-36. Roquemore answered with a tough fade away as the shot clock expired. Young and Holt added to the Gaels' lead back-to-back baskets in the paint to give Saint Mary's a 52-38 advantage with 15:09 remaining.
Trasolini hit one of two from the charity stripe before Page hit another Saint Mary's triple to give the Gaels a 16-point cushion. After Waldrow was called for a technical foul for an elbow, John McArthur hit two free throws and gave Santa Clara possession. Roquemore found Trasolini inside for an easy bucket to cut the Gaels' lead to 55-43. Young continued to score inside for the Gaels, adding two more at 13:31.
Saint Mary's added to its lead with a one-and-one from Levesque that gave the Gaels a 17-point advantage.
Cowels III converted two from the charity stripe before the Broncos forced a turnover off a steal by Yannik Atanga. Brandon Clark took advantage of the turnover by adding a floater in the lane at 10:37. Atanga got the crowd back into it with a monster block and the Broncos grabbed it. Foster sunk two free throws to pull Santa Clara within 11. McArthur took a charge to ignite the crowd and force Saint Mary's to burn a timeout.
After a Santa Clara turnover, Giusti hit from downtown with a triple to stop the Santa Clara run. Waldow added a layup. Trailing 65-49, the Broncos used a timeout with 7:48 remaining.
Following the timeout, Levesque hit his fifth triple of the contest before Roquemore added a one-handed dunk and then a layup to make the score 68-53 at 6:07.
Dellavedova and Roquemore traded free throws to make it a 15-point contest with 5:30 remaining. Waldow added two in the paint to add to Saint Mary's lead. Atanga hit one of two from the line to make it a 72-56 advantage for the Gaels.
With 3:54 remaining, Levesque continued his sharpshooting for the Gaels, adding his sixth three-pointer of the night and put the game out of reach for the Broncos.
The Gaels held on to win 84-63.
Kevin Foster started his 112th career game. He sits at No. 2 all-time and needs to start five more games to pass the school record holder, Brian Jones (116, 1996-01). Foster is tied with Jens Gordon at No. 9 for career games played (120, 1985-90).
Raymond Cowels III and Marc Trasolini played in their 124th career game. They sit tied at No. 3 with John Bryant (123, 2005-09). They need to play in five more games to break the school record for games played, set by Ben Dowdell (128, 2007-11).
With 14 points tonight, Raymond Cowels needs 15 more points to score 1,000 career points. He will be the fourth Bronco in the starting line-up to score 1,000 career points, joining Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini and Evan Roquemore.
Santa Clara wore red at home for the first time in the Kerry Keating era as part of RED OUT.