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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 1, 2006

San Francisco - 71
Southeastern Louisiana - 56

Las Cruces, NM - The USF Dons, playing with their roster intact for just the second game, played their most complete game of the season in defeating Southeastern Louisiana 71-56 in the first game of the Lou Henson Classic Friday evening in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Armondo Surratt paced four Dons in double figures with 16 points with Johnny Dukes adding 13, Jay Watkins 12 and Alan Wiggins, Jr. tallying 10. The Dons improved to 4-4 on the year. Daryl Cohen paced Southeastern with 18 points.

The Dons had their best defensive effort of the season, holding the Lions to just 30% field goal shooting and 56 points, the lowest allowed by the Dons since USF topped Portland 62-50 last January 21st. Southeastern dropped to 4-3 on the year after starting the season with a bang by winning the Oregon Rain Classic, including a road win at Oregon State.

"We added Johnny Dukes to the starting lineup and it made a difference," said head coach Jessie Evans. "We were bigger, better on defense and much tougher on the boards where we had the advantage. To hold a quality offensive team to just 56 points shows defensive intensity. We hit one of our goals which is to hold a team to under 40 percent shooting. I thought Surratt did a good job running the team, but we still made too many turnovers. Freshman Jay Watkins did a great job with 12 points and eight rebounds. We still have plenty to work on."

"Tomorrow, we will be up against a New Mexico State team on their home floor that is hungry for wins," Evans added.

Coach Evans played his bench liberally with eight players in double figures in minutes.

The Dons built a 55-37 lead midway through the second half and were never challenged again eventually leading by 19 points late in the contest.

USF will face New Mexico State Saturday night in the Classic finale tomorrow. The event has a set schedule, with Southeastern Louisiana meeting Chicago State in the early game.

The Dons played an excellent first half which resulted in a 40-28 lead as the Dons ended the half on a 18-6 run after being knotted at 22. USF head coach Jessie Evans changed the Dons starting lineup, inserting Johnny Dukes for Antonio Kellogg.

Santa Clara - 71
Alabama State - 45

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Centers Josh Higgins and John Bryant combined to score 31 points to lead Santa Clara to a 71-45 win over Alabama State on Friday in the Price Cutter Classic. The Broncos, who arrived in Springfield, Mo. at 5:30 a.m. this morning after 22 hours of travel, got off to a slow start but shot 76 percent from the field in the second half to pull away from the Hornets.

Bryant and Scott Dougherty got the Broncos started in the first half as they combined for the first 12 points for SCU. Dougherty also had three rebounds and an assist in that early stretch that put Santa Clara up 12-9. The Broncos extended their lead to 21-9 before a 10-0 run by the Hornets cut the lead to two. However, a Danny Pariseau jumper with three minutes left in the half stopped the bleeding and got the Broncos back on track.

After taking a 28-21 halftime lead, Santa Clara (5-2) opened the second half with a 19-10 run to go up 47-31 with 12:24 left.

Alabama State (2-4) cut its deficit to 49-36 with 10:11 left on a 3-pointer by Tahrea Howard. But the Hornets went cold after that, didn't score another field goal for the next 8:02 and trailed 64-42 with 1:45 left.

Santa Clara shot 50 percent from the floor while Alabama State made just 28 percent. The Broncos held their opponent to under 40 percent shooting for the third consecutive game and extended their winning streak to three games in the process.

Santa Clara outrebounded Alabama State 44-31, scoring 28 points in the paint to eight for Alabama State. Dougherty grabbed a career high eight rebounds while Mitch Henke had seven for Santa Clara.

For the second straight week, Higgins set a career high in points with 17. He is now third on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game.

Santa Clara takes on the Missouri State Bears on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5:05 p.m. PT at Hammons Student Center. Catch the game live on SantaClaraBroncos.com or on 1220 KNTS.