Gonzaga Nine-Game WInning Streak Snapped At Santa Clara
Jan. 20, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Kevin Foster scored a career-high 36 points, including 11 straight during a key stretch late in the second half, and Santa Clara beat Gonzaga 85-71 on Thursday, ending the Bulldogs' nine-game winning streak.
Foster went 11 for 20 from the floor and raised his arms the air as the standing room-only crowd at the Leavey Center burst into a standing ovation near the end of the game. The senior guard then punctuated the win with his sixth 3-pointer of the game with 18 seconds remaining.
Ben Dowdell, who had 10 points and six rebounds for Santa Clara (11-9, 2-2 West Coast Conference), jumped onto a courtside table as fans stormed the court to celebrate the Broncos' first win against the Bulldogs in nearly three years and their first at home in the series since Feb. 22, 2000.
Gonzaga, which hadn't lost since an 83-79 setback at Notre Dame on Dec. 11, trailed the entire first half but came out strong in the second half and was within 65-63 after a pair of free throws by Sacre.
That's when Foster took over. He scored on a 3-pointer, and after Sacre's short hook, Foster drove and split a double-team effort by Sacre and Mathis Keita for a layup that made it 70-65. Foster then added two more 3s, extending the Broncos' lead to 76-68.
Foster finished with 24 points in the second half to eclipse his previous career-high of 31 set against St. Mary's on Jan. 9, 2009. He made sure to relish it, playfully smiling at Gonzaga coach Mark Few after the Bulldogs were called for charging midway through the second half. Foster also repeatedly waved his arms up and down throughout the second half, urging the crowd to get louder.
Gonzaga made only two of its last 10 shots and committed five turnovers over the final 91/2 minutes. The 85 points are also the most allowed by the Bulldogs this season, nearly 19 more than their average going in.
The loss drops Gonzaga 11/2 games behind No. 22 St. Mary's in the conference. The Gaels, who play at Gonzaga on Jan. 27, beat San Diego 67-56 on Wednesday.
This isn't the first time Santa Clara, which had lost 23 of the 25 previous meetings between the two schools, has handed the Bulldogs a milestone setback. The Broncos also handed Gonzaga its first loss at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Feb. 12, 2007, ending the Bulldogs' 50-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation at the time.
Save for one stretch in the second half, this one was all Santa Clara.
The Broncos jumped to a 7-0 lead, held a 38-36 advantage at halftime, then withstood Gonzaga's best run of the night.
Foster and Marc Trasolini combined for 23 points in the first half for Santa Clara. The Broncos also forced the Bulldogs into nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Evan Roquemore had 13 points and five assists while Trasolini and Troy Payne added 11 points apiece for Santa Clara.
Gonzaga continues its Bay Area trip Saturday with a 5 p.m. game at the University of San Francisco.
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