The Santa Clara Broncos defeated the visiting USF Dons 74 – 69 in a West Coast Conference season opener for both squads. Kevin Foster led the Broncos (12 – 3, 1 – 0 WCC) with 21 points, with help from Marc Trasolini (14 points), Raymond Cowels III (13 points), and Evan Roquemore (12 points).
Reserve Yannick Atanga led the Broncos in rebounding with 13 boards, followed by Trasolini’s 11 rebounds, but it was Trasolini’s last put back off an offensive rebound which proved to be the game winner. Roquemore led the Broncos in assists with eight, with Foster chipping in four assists when he wasn’t tossing in 5-of-13 3-point bombs.
Santa Clara shot 38.0% (27-of-71) from the field, 32.3% (10-of-31) behind the 3-point line, and 76.9% (10-of-13) from the free throw line. The Broncos out-rebounded USF 44 – 30.
USF (7 – 7, 0 – 1 WCC) was again led by Cole Dickerson’s double-double (17 points and 12 rebounds). Cody Doolin scored 16 points and delivered 8 assists. Avry Holmes and Tim Derksen chipped in 12 and 9 points, respectively.
For the game, USF shot 47.3% (26-of-55) from the field, 40.9% (9-of-22) behind the 3-point arc, and 66.7% (8-of-12) from the charity stripe.
After opening up a 39 – 28 lead on the Dons at the intermission, the Broncos held on to withstand a methodical second half rally by USF. The Dons started taking the ball inside more to mount a comeback that reduced Santa Clara’s lead from 19 points to six points in the second half, when the play of the game occurred, which ironically resulted in no points scored.
The turning point was Yannick Atanga’s spectacular but controversial block of a Cody Doolin breakaway layup attempt. The ball was retrieved by USF’s Chris Adams, but he was ruled out of bounds. The controversy arose from whether Atanga’s blocked shot was goal-tending or not. The referees let it go and ruled it a blocked shot, with possession to Santa Clara.
SCU’s lead would dwindle to two points, led by USF’s Doolin scoring off multiple dribble penetrations, but the Broncos would eventually close out the game with free throws by Roquemore, Foster, and Trasolini.
USF hosts BYU on January 5 in War Memorial Gym at 7 pm Pacific time.
Santa Clara hosts Gonzaga January 5 in the Leavey Center at 5 pm Pacific time.
Topics: Avry Holmes, Chris Adams, Cody Doolin, Cole Dickerson, College Basketball, Evan Roquemore, Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini, NCAA, Raymond Cowels III, Santa Clara Broncos, Tim Derksen, University Of San Francisco Dons, USF Dons, Yannick Atanga