Santa Clara tops SJSU in South Bay showdown

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Santa Clara tops SJSU in South Bay showdown

SAN JOSE -- Santa Clara University’s lead in the second half never dipped below 16 as the Broncos cruised to their ninth win in the last 11 meetings against SJSU, defeating the Spartans 75-54 and ending their three-game win streak.

Twice the Broncos’ second-half lead was cut to 16 by the Spartans but the Broncos were just too much as they outscored SJSU in both halves Tuesday night at the Event Center.

“They outplayed us, simple as that,” said SJSU head coach George Nessman. “They showed more poise and showed more mental sharpness than we did and that’s how they got the victory.”

Santa Clara was led by guard Evan Roquemore, who racked up 16 points and 5 assists while converting 3-5 from beyond the arc, and also received substantial contributions from several members of the team. Broncos guards Raymond Cowells III and Kevin Foster added 13 and 11 points, respectively, to help earn the Santa Clara victory.

For the game, SJSU collectively shot 25 percent (15-60) from the floor. Guard James Kinney, who entered the contest averaging 23 points per game, was limited by the Santa Clara defense, scoring just 19 points.

“We had to keep Kinney somewhat limited, make him earn it and he had to earn those I thought,” said Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating. “He made some really tough shots. We started to frustrate them a little bit and disrupt their flow and it really helped our pressure in other places as well.”

Nessman called the loss a lesson learned for the Spartans.

“We played a really good team and we didn’t play with a level of concentration that you need to,” he said. “We certainly had a lot of intensity but we didn’t do a good job focusing. We made a lot of careless mistakes and Santa Clara punished us for almost every one of them.”

While Santa Clara outscored SJSU 17-14 in points off turnovers both Nessman and Kinney said it felt like the spread was larger. Ten of SJSU’s 18 turnovers came in the first half, digging a hole the Spartans wouldn’t be able to climb out of.

“They counted on our mistakes, that’s pretty much the game right there,” Kinney said. “We didn’t execute offensively. We broke down on many of our sets and that leads to bad shots, poor decisions overall and transition points for Santa Clara going the other way.”

Santa Clara began to build a lead from the early minutes of the first half. Within the first five minutes the Broncos took a 14-5 lead and it became clear that Santa Clara was the more aggressive team.

SJSU’s defensive intensity showed promise later in the first half when it held Santa Clara scoreless for nearly four minutes, bringing the score to 16-12 in favor of the Broncos with 11:14 left in the first half.

A three-pointer from guard Brandon Clark, however, ignited the Santa Clara offense once again and sent the Broncos on a run that opened the game up early on. Over the next five minutes Santa Clara went on a 15-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from Roquemore, to give the Broncos a 31-14 lead with just less than seven minutes to play in the first.

Another 13-4 Bronco run to end the first sent the game into halftime with the score at 44-25. Roquemore led Santa Clara in scoring with 13 points and in assists with 3 at halftime.

“We didn’t function very well the first ten minutes of the game and that put us in a hole and then we played like we were in a hole and I think it affected out sharpness and Santa Clara took advantage of it,” Nessman said. “It wasn’t an effort issue, they were just playing a higher quality basketball in the first half and I think that’s why they got the lead they got.”

Nessman added that the team will now be able to take its time on the practice court and improve on many things — the team’s next game is not until Dec. 22 against James Madison.

“We need the time, clearly,” he said. “We’ve played a lot of games int he last two weeks and we’re a little worn down. We need to get back to the practice floor where we can have extended practices over a four day stretch where we don’t have to worry about an opponent. We have a lot of time now to focus on San Jose State and what we need to do.”

Stanford star RB Christian McCaffrey will enter NFL Draft

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AP

Stanford star RB Christian McCaffrey will enter NFL Draft

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

McCaffrey announced his decision on Wednesday, saying he has done everything he could in college and now wants to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.

"Since I was 6 years old, I've wanted to play in the NFL," he wrote in an announcement on Stanford's website announcing his decision. "It's been on every list of goals that I've ever written. Now, it's time to take that step. There's nothing more I can put on film."

McCaffrey was the runner-up last season for the Heisman Trophy when he broke Barry Sanders' NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season with 3,864 yards. He has proven to be the ultimate all-around threat with the ability to run with power between the tackles, use his elusiveness and speed running on the outside or as a receiver and being a dangerous returner.

He rushed for 2,019 yards and eight scores, added 645 yards receiving with two more touchdowns and had 1,200 yards and two TDs as a returner in 2015 when he narrowly lost the Heisman to Alabama's Derrick Henry.

McCaffrey was not as prolific this season as he was slowed in October by an injury. He still rushed for 1,596 yards and increased his yards per carry from 6.0 to 6.3 despite a less accomplished line and passing game. He also scored 16 touchdowns overall this season for coach David Shaw and the 16th-ranked Cardinal (9-3).

"I've talked to many in and out of the game and received advice from people whose opinions I greatly respect, including Toby Gerhart, who was here for a game this season. I took their feedback and came to a conclusion: I'm ready," McCaffrey wrote.

"I talked to Coach Shaw about everything. He completely agreed. Really, it just made sense. The opportunity is right in front of me. Simply put, this is the best time to live out my dream."

McCaffrey says he plans to return to school to get his degree.
 

Moore's team-high 15 leads Cal past Princeton in Hawaii

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AP

Moore's team-high 15 leads Cal past Princeton in Hawaii

BOX SCORE

HONOLULU -- Charlie Moore scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures and California pulled away from Princeton 62-51 in the Pearl Harbor Invitational Tuesday.

Jabari Bird scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime and Sam Singer and Grant Mullins added 11 points apiece for the Golden Bears (7-1).

Moore, a freshman point guard, shot 6 of 9 from the field and scored 10 points after halftime.

Princeton took a 46-44 lead following Henry Caruso's 3-pointer from the left corner with 7:45 left to play, but California answered with an 11-1 run that was capped by a backdoor reverse layup by Bird off an assist from Moore.

Devin Cannady scored 16 points and Spencer Weisz added 10 for the Tigers (2-4).

Princeton closed out the first half on a 4-0 run to take a 20-18 lead into halftime.

There were 12 ties and 15 lead changes in the game.

California dominated Princeton in both points in the paint (34-12) and bench scoring (24-7).

BIG PICTURE

California: The Golden Bears were a woeful 10 of 23 from the free-throw line. They made just 1 of 3 from the charity stripe in the first half and only 9 of 20 in the second. They entered the game averaging 67.5 percent for the season.

Princeton: The Tigers came into the contest averaging 9.6 3-pointers made per game, but made just 1 of 11 attempts from behind the arc in the first half and finished 6 of 26 for the game.

UP NEXT

California will look to extend its win streak to six games when it takes on Seton Hall Wednesday.

Princeton will play Wednesday against Hawaii, the first time the two schools have met.