Feb. 6, 2006
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Travis Niesen scored 25 points as Santa Clara snapped a seven-game losing skid with an 80-56 victory over Portland on Monday.
Niesen made 10 of 14 shots while the Broncos hit 65 percent of their attempts. It was Santa Clara's best shooting performance of the season. It was also the team's largest margin of victory at Portland since a 91-60 win in 1987.
Santa Clara (9-12, 2-7 West Coast Conference) entered the game with the worst record in the conference but it was hard to tell the way the Broncos played against the Pilots (2-7, 8-15), who lost their fifth game in a row.
Portland led only one time in the game - at 5-3. Santa Clara then opened a 27-15 lead with Niesen scoring nine points during a 16-6 run. The teams then traded baskets until halftime when Santa Clara led 41-28.
The Broncos blew the game open with a 12-2 spurt to start the second half. Niesen and Brody Angley each had a pair of hoops in that run. Portland tried to fight back, cutting its deficit to 57-43 after three straight baskets by Darren Cooper, who led the Pilots with 20 points.
Santa Clara then gradually pushed the lead back to 20.
The Broncos shot better than 60 percent in both halves. Angley and Mitch Henke had 13 points each.