Broncos Come Up Short Against Gonzaga, 77-69
Jan. 14, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - A late comeback effort by Santa Clara came up short as Gonzaga defeated the Broncos 77-69 on Saturday night at the Leavey Center. Scott Doughery had a career high 18 points for Santa Clara, including four three-pointers, but Gonzaga held on to give their head coach, Mark Few, his 200th win. Sean Denison had 11 points and seven rebounds for the scrappy Broncos, who couldn't do enough offensively in the second half to pull it out.At halftime of the game, Santa Clara raised the jersey of former player and coach Bob Feerick to the rafters. Feerick played three seasons from 1938-41 at Santa Clara and was named an All-American. As a coach, he led Santa Clara to its only Final Four appearance and the Broncos made four NCAA appearances under Feerick.
Derek Raivio had 25 points and Josh Heytvelt scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and grabbed seven rebounds in the Zags' 26th consecutive West Coast Conference win and 30th in a row against a conference opponent including tournament play.
Gonzaga (12-6, 3-0 WCC) led 67-53 with 4:37 left but Santa Clara used a 13-2 run to close within 69-66 on Dougherty's 3-pointer with 37.3 seconds remaining. David Pendergraft hit two free throws at 35.3 for the Zags. Dougherty finished with 18 points to lead Santa Clara (11-6, 1-1).
Raivio missed his first free-throw attempt of the game at the 8:53 mark of the first half, ending a streak of 44 straight made shots from the line - a WCC and school record. The streak began Nov. 24 against Butler when he went 8-for-8, and the senior point guard has missed only four free throws all season.
Sean Denison had 11 points and seven rebounds for the scrappy Broncos, who couldn't do enough offensively in the second half to pull this one out. Santa Clara hasn't beaten the six-time defending WCC champions since an 84-71 victory at home on Feb. 22, 2001. That ended the Zags' 14-game winning streak - the longest in the nation at the time.
Heytvelt scored Gonzaga's first six points of the second half and Raivio made back-to-back layins to end a 10-2 run that put the Bulldogs up 51-43 lead with 16:09 to play. The Broncos answered with an 8-2 spurt featuring a 3-pointer by role player Joey Kaempf at 13:00, but then went scoreless for 6:13.
It was another tough loss to the Zags for a sellout crowd of more than 4,500 fans who packed the Leavey Center, where they were as raucous as ever for the game even though the Bulldogs aren't ranked for a change.
Santa Clara, which had won three of four with an emotional 76-69 victory over Bay Area rival Saint Mary's on Jan. 6, shot 40 percent and was outrebounded 35-32.
The Zags knocked the Broncos out of the conference tournament in 2001 and 2004 by a combined four points.
Jeremy Pargo's layin at 4:53 capped an 11-3 Gonzaga run for a 33-28 lead and the Zags held the Broncos without a field over the final 5:45 and only one basket in the last 7:15 of the half.
Santa Clara made 6 of its first 8 shots but shot 33 percent the rest of the half to trail 41-39 at the break.
The theme for the game was "Dick Davey argyle sweater night," in honor of Santa Clara's 15th-year coach and his signature look. Several of his assistants sported the sweaters and so did athletic director Dan Coonan.
Santa Clara returns to action on Monday, Jan. 15 as the Broncos host the Portland Pilots at 7:00 p.m. PT. Fans can listen to the game on 1220 KNTS or get complete coverage at SantaClaraBroncos.com.