Santa Clara (23-11) at Wright State (23-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 27, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nutter Center (10,400) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: AXS.tv. CBI Record: Santa Clara 2-0, Wright State 2-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Santa Clara Broncos visit the Nutter Center on Wednesday night to battle the Wright State Raiders in the semifinal round of the 2013 College Basketball Invitational.
The winner will advance to next week's best-of-three championship series to face off against the victor of the Western Michigan/George Mason semifinal.
Santa Clara opened the CBI with a home win versus Vermont (77-67) then followed that up with a trip to Purdue for the quarterfinals, where it downed the Boilermakers, 86-83. The Broncos improved to 23-11 on the campaign for just their fourth season of 23 wins or more in their 106-year history, and after winning the 2011 CIT they have now won seven straight postseason games.
Wright State has enjoyed the confines of the Nutter Center in each of its first two matchups in this event, having defeated Tulsa (72-52) and Richmond (57-51) en route to its berth in the semifinals. The Raiders are 23-12 and haven't played this late in the season since winning the 1983 Division II National Championship.
In two previous matchups in the all-time series, each team won on its home court, with Wright State winning in 2001 and Santa Clara coming out victorious a year later.
Although it was trailing at the half of its latest game, Santa Clara shot lights out from the field after intermission (.630) on its way to the three- point victory at Purdue. Kevin Foster was fantastic down the stretch, scoring 28 of his 34 points in the second half, and with three 3-pointers he moved into a tie for sixth in NCAA history with 413 career treys. Raymond Cowels III netted 13 points in the triumph, while Marc Trasolini added 10 points. The Broncos have become accustomed to high scoring outputs this season, as they net greater than 74 ppg while draining more than eight long-range buckets per contest. Foster has pieced together an outstanding season with 18.6 ppg and 4.5 apg. Trasolini mans the paint with 15.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 1.5 bpg, while Evan Roquemore (11.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Cowels III (9.6 ppg) have also been solid contributors.
In a game that featured 15 ties and 16 lead changes, Wright State used a 6-0 run late in the game to pull away from Richmond. The Raiders shot 45.5 percent from the field and held the usually-potent Spider to a lowly 4-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc. Miles Dixon acted as the spark plug from off the bench with 14 points on 6-of-10 accuracy from the field, while Jerran Young tacked on 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the winning effort. The Raiders have been offensively challenged this season, scoring fewer than 62 ppg, but they have had one of their strongest seasons in program history behind an outstanding defense that yields just 57.8 ppg. Cole Darling is the lone player to net in double figures on a nightly basis with 11.3 ppg, but he has missed the past several weeks with a foot injury. In his absence, Reggie Arceneaux (9.0 ppg), Young (8.7 ppg) and Dixon (8.4 ppg) have been tasked with handling the bulk of the club's offensive attack.
With opposite philosophies colliding, it will be interesting to see which unit prevails in a clash between the high-powered Santa Clara offense and the stout Wright State defense. Foster has the ability to take control of a contest by himself, as he did against Purdue, but in the end the Raiders' will be too much for the Broncos to overcome at the Nutter Center where WSU is 12-4 this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 65, Santa Clara 63
03/27 10:31:36 ET