Bulldogs vs. Santa Clara Broncos blog: Love ‘em and Hate ‘em

Gonzaga Sends Santa Clara to 14th Straight Loss

The #24 Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-4, 11-2 WCC) sent the Santa Clara Broncos (8-18, 0-13 in the WCC) to their 14th consecutive loss Thursday night 73-62.

The Broncos have suffered a lost season, exacerbated when the team’s leading scorer, junior guard Kevin Foster (17.8 ppg), was suspended for the remainder of the year after he was arrested on Jan. 21 on suspicion of drunken driving.

Please NO “Foster’s, Santa Claran for [BLANK]” jokes. It is too easy, and Broncos’ fans have suffered enough.

However, making fun of anything else on that team is more than welcomed on this blog.

Coupled with Loyola Marymount’s (17-10, 10-4 WCC) upset in Moraga, Calif. against #21 Saint Mary’s (23-4, 12-2 WCC) on Wednesday 75-60, the Bulldogs now sit only a half-game back for the West Coast Conference lead with three games remaining on their conference docket.

For full disclosure, I only tuned into watch Thursday’s Gonzaga-Santa Clara nationally-televised game to see if Santa Clara freshman forward Jordan Akwenuke (Portland, Ore., Jesuit) would get any burn.

If the name sounds familar, his older brother Josh Akwenuke was a guard at Oregon during the 2005-06 campaign.

Here’s what else I loved about the game:

Love ‘Em

Sacre’s Dominance

Senior center Robert Sacre had himself a field day as he manhandled whoever Coach Kerry Keating threw his way. Sacre scored the first five to start the second half and 18 points total.  I could have done without the technical foul after a dunk and yell that wouldn’t have even intimidated Mark Sanchez.

I’m not old-school Bobby, but time and place, man. Santa Clara would struggle beating Oak Hill Academy this year.

Bulldog Bench Play

Sophomore forward Sam Dowerasserted himself early as he went 5-for-5 from the field in the first half and finished with 18 points, while showing a variety of inside moves from jump shots to jump hooks.

Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara

Bulldogs vs. Santa Clara Broncos blog: Love 'em and Hate 'em

Junior Mike Hart entered the game in the second half and made life difficult for sophomore guard Evan Roquemore, a player that has the ability to get on a scoring roll.

Hate ‘Em

Santa Clara Loitered

Like an emo kid at Hot Topic.  Gonzaga fouled three-point shooters, committed ball-handling turnovers on the perimeter, and just generally failed to take advantage of mismatches on the offensive end. Gonzaga could have stretched a first half lead of five to 20.

The final is not an indicator of how close the game was 36 of the 40 minutes.

Perimeter Play

The Gonzaga turnovers were unforced errors, not good Santa Clara defense. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer freshman Kevin Pangos was unimpressive last night. After a 27-point performance against then #16 Saint Mary’s, Pangos scored just 10.

Freshman Gary Bell Jr. played decently, but it was all Sacre and nobody else.

The highlight of the broadcast was that Santa Clara didn’t get ripped on for passing up on Jeremy Lin. ESPN couldn’t avoid him altogether as they mentioned his Bay Area roots with 13:09 to go.

Good to know that ESPN doesn’t have a vendetta against EVERY basketball team that ever played outside of New York.

In case you were wondering, Akwenuke was 0-1 with one rebound.

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About Blair Thomas

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