Santa Clara beats Notre Dame de Namur in 67-47 win
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)—Freshman Kevin Foster became the first player other than John Bryant to lead Santa Clara in scoring this season with 17 points and five 3-pointers to lead the Broncos to a 67-47 win over Notre Dame de Namur on Saturday night.
Bryant, who was the only player in the country to at least have tied for his team’s lead in both scoring and rebounding in every game this season according to the Atlantic Sun Conference, did neither against the Argonauts.
The 6-foot-11-inch senior center had 15 points and five rebounds but played sparingly in the second half as Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating emptied his bench in the blowout. Ben Dowdell’s seven rebounds led the Broncos.
Foster was 5 of 7 from 3-point range while nearly doubling his season scoring average.
The Broncos have won four straight after dropping four of five to start, including a pair of close losses to Georgia and Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-off tournament.
Deon Sharp scored 13 points and Bennie Murray added 12 for Notre Dame de Namur, a Division II school located 25 miles south of San Francisco. The Argos shot just 25 percent in the first half and trailed by as much as 30 while falling to 3-5.
Santa Clara (5-4) was without starting point guard Troy Alexander, who injured his left shoulder against Sacramento State on Dec. 6 and is listed as day-to-day. Without Alexander, the Broncos looked out of sync on offense early on and struggled to get the ball to Bryant.
Bryant took just two shots in the first half despite being in a constant mismatch against the smaller Argonauts. His teammates couldn’t pick up the scoring slack and Santa Clara only led 11-5 nearly 14 minutes into the game.
Bryant’s lone basket of the first half came with 6:03 remaining and sparked 12-2 run highlighted by three 3-pointers from Foster. Foster’s fourth trey of the game put the Broncos ahead 26-12 and Santa Clara scored the final six points of the half to take a 32-14 halftime lead.
The Broncos extended their lead to 41-18 then put the game out of reach for good with a 10-0 run punctuated by a Bryant dunk that made it 51-21 with 10:12 left.