Portland, Ore. – With the Bronco's three leading scorers, Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge and Evan Roquemore scoring 20 points each, Santa Clara used a 13-2 run in the first half to win 76-68 at Portland for the second straight year at the Chiles Center on Monday afternoon. All three guards went 5 of 6 from the free throw line with Roquemore hitting five threes and Clark and Brownridge scoring three each.
After four straight games on the road, the Broncos now return home to host Pepperdine on Thurs., Jan. 2 at 7 pm. Santa Clara is 8-7 and 1-1 in the WCC. Portland is 8-6 and 0-2 in the WCC.
Santa Clara shot 43.4 percent from the field (23 of 53), including 52.2 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 23). The Broncos shot 75.0 percent from the free throw line (18 of 24). The Broncos collected 27 rebounds, 16 assists, six steals, zero blocks and nine turnovers, including just three in the second half.
Roquemore scored 20 on a season-high five threes. He added six assists and four rebounds. Clark added six assists with his 20 points. Brownridge scored 10 points in the first half and 10 in the second half for his 20 point tally, adding an assist and a steal. Jerry Brown, Brownridge, Roquemore and Yannick Atanga all had four rebounds each.
Portland, who came in averaging 80 points a game, shot 40.0 percent from the field (24 of 60), including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 11). The Pilots shot 69.2 percent from the free throw line (18 of 26). They came in as one of the top 10 teams in the country, shooting 75 percent. The Pilots collected 43 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals, six blocks and 13 turnovers.
Individually, Portland was led by Ryan Nicholas' 12 points and 13 boards. Thomas van der Mars added a career-high 23 with seven boards and Kevin Bailey had 19 with six boards. Bryce Pressley had six assists.
The first half featured runs on both sides of the court before the Broncos took control on a 13-2 run with less than seven minutes to go. Brownridge (10), Roquemore (9) and Clark (7) combined for 26 points in the first half.
Portland opened the game with two baskets inside, but Clark (18:05) and Brownridge (17:25) answered back to tie it up 4-4. Brownridge nailed a three from the corner to pull SCU within one at 15:45. UP's 5-2 run made it 14-9 at 12:29.
A 6-0 Bronco run gave SCU a 15-14 lead at 10:29 with Clark hitting a three from the elbow, Roquemore scoring a free throw and Atanga scoring inside. Portland answered with its own 8-2 run to take a 22-17 lead at 7:39.
Santa Clara went on a 13-2 run over the next 2:22 and Portland was forced to stop the action with a timeout at 4:55. Brownridge started the run with a three and he was then topped by two threes by Roquemore.
After Portland made three straight free throws, Denzel Johnson and Roquemore both scored pairs of their own. Kratch stepped up big to crush a three at 1:12, making the lead 37-29. The score was 37-31 at the half after Bailey hit a jumper with eight seconds left.
Clark and Roquemore opened the second half with threes, starting a 12-0 Bronco run, and McArthur tipped in a Brown miss. Roquemore hit his fourth three at 16:14 to make it an 11-point lead, 48-37. Clark extended the lead to 13 at 13:27 with a 12-foot jumper when Portland whistled for time to regroup.
Portland went without a field goal from 18:20 – 12:13 when Bobby Sharp hit a three near the Portland bench. It sparked a 10-1 Pilots run as the Broncos went more than six and a half minutes without a field goal (11:50-5:17). Clark's easy three at 5:17 made it a six-point lead, 58-52.
Van der Mars three-point play made the lead just three at 4:36, but Roquemore nailed his fifth three, a season-high, at 4:03 and the lead was again six, 61-55. His pull-up jumper, his first basket of the second half, made the lead eight, 63-55, at 3:06. After Roquemore scored a pair of free throws at 2:13, Brownridge scored eight straight Bronco points. He hit a three at 1:41 and made five free throws to make the Bronco lead 10.
The two team's finished the final minute at the free throw line, with the Broncos coming away with a 74-68 victory.
Game notes: For the third straight game, the Broncos started Evan Roquemore, Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Jerry Brown.