January 9, 2004

Defense Leads Broncos To Victory

Jan 10, 2004

Final Stats

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Kyle Bailey scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack as Santa Clara opened West Coast Conference play with a 64-53 victory over San Francisco in front of a crowd of 2,385 in the Leavey Center Friday night.

Ethan Rohde and Travis Niesen each scored 10 points as the Broncos (9-7, 1-0) snapped a two-game losing streak. Niesen also had 10 rebounds, making him the first Bronco this season to record double figures in both categories in a single game.

Sophomore transfer Dommanic Ingerson scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Dons (10-7, 0-1), who had won seven of their previous nine games. James Bayless added 12 points.

This was the first time since the 1968-69 season that the two Bay Area rivals opened conference play against each other and Broncos improved to 5-6 all-time in league openers against the Dons. Santa Clara and San Francisco are the top two defensive teams in the WCC and last season marked the first time the Dons swept the season series since the 1978-79 campaign.

The Dons learned earlier this week that senior all-conference guard John Cox would miss the rest of the season with a sprained left knee injured in the season opener.

Brandon Rohe's 3-pointer capped an 11-2 run that gave Santa Clara a 44-38 lead midway through the second half, and managed to maintain a slim lead the rest of the way.

The Dons were within five points with less than four minutes remaining but the Broncos began pulling away.

Santa Clara, which made 10 of its first 12 shots, raced to a 23-9 advantage with 6:45 left in the first half, using a 16-0 run sparked by two consecutive 3-pointers from Rohde.

The Dons missed 10 straight shots during the Broncos run, but then snapped out of it by making eight of their final 13 shots of the half and outscoring Santa Clara 17-2 to take a 26-25 halftime lead. Tyrone Riley's fast break layup in the final seconds put USF ahead.

Santa Clara returns to action Thursday in its second WCC game of the season against Pepperdine. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. For tickets, click here.