Stockton, Calif. – On a cold-shooting day from the field with the Broncos shooting 35.2 percent from the field, Santa Clara lost 80-68 at Pacific on Saturday afternoon. Santa Clara is 10-9 and 3-3 in the WCC. Pacific is 10-6 and 1-4 in the WCC.
The Broncos return home to host San Diego on Thurs., Jan. 16 at 7 pm.
"I didn't expect them to shoot 54 percent," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "It was a good game and a hard-fought game. It was one I would expect a team with eight seniors to win and they did. We didn't score the first five minutes of the game and we had some open looks. Anywhere in this league on the road, you have to hit shots."
Santa Clara shot 35.2 percent from the field (19 of 54), including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 24). The Broncos shot 75.9 percent from the free throw line (22 of 29). They collected 30 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, three blocks and had 10 turnovers.
The Broncos were led by Brandon Clark's 20 points, four assists and four rebounds. He came in to the game as the WCC's leading scorer in league games and he scored 20+ points for the 10th time this season (and fifth time in WCC play). Evan Roquemore scored 19 with three rebounds and two assists. John McArthur led the Broncos with six rebounds and Jerry Brown and Jalen Richard each added five. Jared Brownridge fouled out with 30 seconds left and finished with seven points and three rebounds (1-7 from field, 1-5 from three).
Pacific shot 53.8 percent from the field (28 of 52), including 42.9 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 14). The Tigers shot 75.0 percent free throw line (18 of 24). They collected 39 rebounds, 11 assists, five steals, one block and had 11 turnovers.
UOP was led by Sama Taku, who scored 19 points off the bench for the Tigers. Andrew Bock scored 16 and Trevin Harris added 13. Tony Gill had seven boards to lead the Tigers.
Down 33-29 at the half, Brownridge opened the second half with his first three of the day at 19:43, but UOP's 8-0 run pushed it to 41-32 at 17:06. Jalen Richard scored the and one at 15:16 to stop the run, but another Tiger run made it a 13-point lead at 11:35, 50-37.
Three Bronco free throws cut it to 10, but a three by Harris made it 13 again at 10:34. Clark's three at 9:38 gave him double-digits for the 15th time this season. Short's three at 8:10 kept the UOP lead at 12, 58-46.
Roquemore's scored a three-point play at 7:50. Brownridge hit two free throws and then Brown did the same to cut the lead to seven, 62-55 UOP, at 5:21. Bock drove the lane for a basket at 4:32, but Clark topped it with a three at 4:17 and then Bock matched it at 4:03, 67-58 UOP.
Roquemore crushed a three at 2:05 to keep the Broncos alive. He cut the lead to seven with three free throws with 51.5 seconds left. But Bock and Short were money from the free throw line in the final 45 seconds and the Tigers had their first WCC win.
The first half featured four lead changes and a tie. Pacific opened the day on a 7-0 run while the Broncos started 0-9 from the field before Brown dunked it at 13:58. Taku followed with a three and he scored jumper at 12:16 to make it 14-4.
Nate Kratch's three from the corner gave SCU its first beyond the arc after it started 0 of 7. UOP went up 20-9 on a basket by Taku at 9:35 before the Broncos went on an 9-0 with a couple threes by Roquemore and two Kratch free throws.
The Broncos, on a 15-3 run, took a 24-23 lead on an inside basket by Brown at 5:17. UOP scored a couple baskets before Clark knocked down a three to pull SCU back within one again, 28-27, 2:09.
Brownridge sank a couple free throws at 1:17 to put SCU up 29-28. Taku scored the and one to put UOP up 33-29 with 25.5 seconds left in the half. Taku led UOP with 15 in the first half and Roquemore added eight for SCU.
Game notes: Santa Clara started Brandon Clark, Evan Roquemore, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga for the third straight game.