Nov. 27, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Newcomer Josh Higgins scored 16 points without missing a shot, and Santa Clara kept crosstown rival San Jose State winless with a 71-53 victory on Monday night.
Danny Pariseau had 15 points and eight assists, and Sean Denison added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Broncos (3-2), who have won nine of the last 10 meetings between these schools located about 7 miles apart in Silicon Valley.
Higgins went 8-for-8 in the 7-foot transfer's first big game for Santa Clara, which had lost consecutive games to California and Nevada. The Broncos never trailed San Jose State after opening with an 11-2 run and holding the Spartans to 25.5 percent shooting.
Tim Pierce scored a career-high 23 points for the Spartans, who fell to 0-5 after going 6-25 in coach George Nessman's debut season.
Higgins, a junior transfer from Western Kentucky who sat out last season as a redshirt, scored 12 points in the first half -- more than he managed in any full game during two seasons with the Hilltoppers. The bulky center mostly scored on fluid low-post moves, but also hit a pair of smooth jumpers.
Higgins should be an intriguing partner for John Bryant, the Broncos' 305-pound starting center, during West Coast Conference play.
Santa Clara steamed to a 35-22 halftime lead by holding San Jose State to 4-of-24 shooting, though the Spartans hit 11 free throws. Pierce, an Arizona State transfer, scored 12 points in the first half and hit three of his team's four field goals -- just two more than the 1937 school record.
San Jose State never got closer than 13 points in the second half despite the efforts of Pierce, who traded digs with Santa Clara's rowdy student section after hitting one of his five 3-pointers late. The Spartans still haven't played a home game this season.