Santa Clara (22-11) at Purdue (16-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, March 25, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: None. CBI Record: Santa Clara 1-0, Purdue 1-0. Series Record: Purdue leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: The Purdue Boilermakers play host to the Santa Clara Broncos at Mackey Arena on Monday night, as the two squads meet in the quarterfinals of the 2013 College Basketball Invitational.
A 7-0 run with under two minutes left in its first-round matchup propelled Santa Clara to a 77-67 win over Vermont, to improve to 22-11 for just its sixth season of 22 wins or more in the program's 106-year history. Leading the way in the victory was Kevin Foster, who netted 23 points on 8-of-14 from the field, while adding five steals and four assists. Marc Trasolini tallied 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, Evan Roquemore logged 12 points and six assists, and Yannick Atanga hauled in 10 rebounds. After winning the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament in 2011, the Broncos have now won six straight postseason contests.
Although Purdue's 16-17 record may appear somewhat lackluster, the team plays in the brutally tough Big Ten Conference, and after impressing with late- season wins at Wisconsin (69-56) and Minnesota (89-73), the team conquered its first-round CBI matchup over Western Illinois last week, 81-67. The Boilermakers were able to exploit one of the nation's top scoring defenses by shooting a lofty 58.5 percent from the field. Pacing four teammates in double figures was A.J. Hammons with 15 points. Ronnie Johnson scored 14 points, Rapheal Davis had 12, and Terone Johnson rounded out the balanced effort with 10 points and five assists.
Purdue has beaten Santa Clara in all four previous meetings, most recently blowing the Broncos out at home in December of 2000, 98-52.
This season, Santa Clara was one of the better scoring teams in the West Coast Conference, netting 73.7 ppg on nearly 44 shooting percent from the field, draining eight 3-pointers per contest along the way. A total of 99 long-range buckets have been credited to Foster, who is an elite scorer with 18.1 ppg and gets his teammates involved with 4.4 apg, but he shoots less than 40 percent from the floor. Trasolini is a force in the low post, registering 15.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 1.6 bpg. Roquemore brings 11.8 ppg and 5.3 rpg to the table, while Raymond Cowels III (9.5 ppg) has drained 68 buckets from beyond the arc at a 39.3 percent clip.
The Boilermakers haven't experienced a strong campaign scoring the ball, as they net only 65.7 ppg on less than 43 percent efficiency from the field, but they are hard-nosed, yielding just 64.4 ppg to opponents while boasting an outstanding +5.3 rebounding margin. Terone Johnson is the top offensive threat with 13.2 ppg, adding nearly three assists per contest for good measure. Hammons has had an impressive rookie campaign with 10.8 ppg (on 50 percent from the field), 6.1 rpg and 2.0 bpg. D.J. Byrd chips in 10.1 ppg, and Ronnie Johnson runs the point effectively with 9.8 ppg and 4.0 apg.
Both squads have stellar inside presences, so this one will likely come down to which team gets the best guard play. Purdue will have an edge playing at Mackey Arena where it has gone 12-6 this season, but Santa Clara will likely be moving on to the semifinals if it can get another solid effort from Foster.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 70, Purdue 68
03/25 10:39:33 ET