Cal Poly (4-4) at Santa Clara (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 17, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,700) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: Cal Poly 3-1, SCU 5-2. Away Record: Cal Poly 1-3, SCU 2-0. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 0-0, SCU 0-0. Conference Record: Cal Poly 0-0, SCU 0-0. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The Santa Clara Broncos shoot for their fourth straight win on Monday night, as they welcome the Cal Poly Mustangs to the Leavey Center for a non-conference showdown.
Santa Clara, which opened the 2012-13 campaign with five consecutive victories before bowing to Utah State and UC Santa Barbara, both in overtime, in consecutive games, most recently took the floor against Pacific on Saturday and squeezed by with a 75-71 final on the road.
As for the Mustangs, they've been unable to produce a consistent effort from one game to the next. Since opening the season with a 53-46 loss at TCU, the program has alternated wins and losses over the first eight games. That trend continued on Friday when the squad barely made it by Eastern New Mexico at home in a 60-57 final.
The Broncos lead the all-time series between these two teams, 3-1, thanks in part to a 73-58 victory in the most recent meeting back in 2005. The lone win for Cal Poly was a 98-89 decision at home a year earlier.
Cal Poly came out slow against Eastern New Mexico last week, shooting just 31.0 percent from the floor in the first half, 37.9 percent overall, which turned out to be just enough to get the team over the top in the close call. Even though he shot just 5-of-15 from the floor, Chris Eversley was still a crucial piece in the win as he recorded a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds which helped the group register a 41-30 edge on the glass. Brian Bennett added 11 points and Kyle Odister 10 off the bench for the hosts. Eversley hasn't been all that strong from the floor through the first eight games of the campaign, shooting just 40.4 percent, but he is still the top scoring threat with 14.9 ppg and is key in the paint with close to eight rebounds per contest. Bennett and fellow starter Dylan Royer check in with 10.5 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
With the game against Pacific still in doubt two nights ago, Evan Roquemore stepped to the free-throw line and knocked down a pair of shots with 2.7 seconds remaining, not only giving his team some breathing room in what turned into a four-point victory, but also eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his career in the process. Roquemore finished with a solid stat line that consisted of 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Kevin Foster produced 31 points and Marc Trasolini turned in a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the triumph. Thanks in part to a 106-point eruption in the season opener against Simpson College, the Broncos are putting up a generous 82.1 ppg. The team leans heavily on the big three with Foster (20.1 ppg), Trasolini (14.2 ppg) and Roquemore (13.1 ppg) all shouldering quite a bit of the load for the group.
With the kind of explosive offense that is always lurking for the Broncos, a team like Cal Poly simply cannot keep up the pace and that will be demonstrated on Monday night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 79, Cal Poly 67
12/17 10:36:54 ET