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Oak Park's Bid Runs Afoul at Santa Clara

January 08, 1994|BRYAN RODGERS

OXNARD — Santa Clara is a school rich with basketball tradition. Championship banners proudly hang throughout the gym.

So when Lou Cvijanovich said his team was an underdog against Oak Park, it was quite a statement from a man in his 36th season of coaching.

But Santa Clara's trademark man-to-man defense and poor free-throw shooting by Oak Park helped the Saints emerge with a 49-39 nonleague victory Friday night.

"I don't care what anyone says, (when) a 13-1 team takes on a 7-7 team, we're the underdog," Cvijanovich said after his team improved to 8-7.

When Oak Park jumped to a 10-2 first-quarter lead, Cvijanovich's fears appears well-founded. However, Santa Clara held Oak Park to five points in the third quarter and the Saints took a 27-24 lead.

Troubles at the foul line spoiled any chance of an Oak Park rally. The Eagles hit only six of 25 free throws.

"We were terrible, miserable, whatever, from the line," Oak Park Coach Bob Hall said. "Against Moorpark we hit 22 of 26, then tonight, this happens. It was the difference in the game."

Shawn Williams had 16 points to for Oak Park, and Ryan Garth added 11. Santa Clara, which had three starters foul out, was led by Jeff Pena with 12 points, and Kevin Collins contributed 10.

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