Nov. 27, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Travis Niesen did was senior captains are supposed to Saturday night... come up big when the team needs a lift.
The Mission Viejo, Calif. native scored 28 points, including 20 in the second half, to bring Santa Clara back from a 14-point deficit and a 63-60 victory over longtime rival Pacific in an interconference game Saturday at the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara (2-1) missed their first 17 shots of the game, while turning the ball over six times, as Pacific (3-2) bolted to a 14-0 lead.
The Broncos didn't score until 8:40 into the game when point guard Brody Angley buried a short jumper. They shot a tepid 22.9 percent from the field in the first half, yet rallied to trail only 28-21 at the break when their 6-foot-11, 325-pound freshman backup center John Bryant scored on a short turnaround jumper.
Niesen didn't account for a point until he converted a free throw with 2:59 to go in the first half. But he notched Santa Clara's first 10 points of the second half, setting the tone for the comeback.
An 8-0 run that began with 7:49 remaining gave the Broncos their first lead of the game. Calvin Johnson cashed a pair of 3-point jumpers, putting Santa Clara up 49-46 with 5:53 to go.
Pacific's Mike Webb hit the back of the rim from behind the 3-point arc on the last shot of the game as time expired.
Angley set a career-high with 11 rebounds and scored his first collegiate double-double with 12 points. Sophomore Mitch Henke added 10 boards and the Broncos outrebounded Pacific by a 43-33 margin.
Johnny Gray topped the Tigers with 20 points, and Webb contributed 16.
Santa Clara returns to action Tuesday in a Rivalry Series game against neighborhood rival San Jose State at The Event Center on the SJSU campus. The Broncos then travel to Starkville, Miss. for a Dec. 3 game at Mississippi State before a break for final exams.