SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Brandon Clark reached the 20-point mark for a fourth straight game and 11th time this season with 21, but it wasn't enough to overcome a career-high 25 points from San Diego's Duda Sanadze and the Toreros escaped with a 69-66 win on Thursday night at Leavey Center.
Santa Clara dropped its second straight game and fell to 10-10 overall, 3-4 in WCC play. The Toreros improved to 11-8 overall and 2-4 in conference.
Clark erupted for 17 second half points and hit back to back buckets late to get the Broncos within 64-67 with under a minute to play. He finished 8 of 18 from the field and converted all four free throws. Jared Brownridge went 6 of 9 from the field with all three of his three-pointers coming in the first half and scored 19 points.
A pair of free throws from Brownridge with 5.6 seconds left got SCU within a point at 67-66, but Sanadze added a pair to increase the lead back to three. A desperation three-point shot from mid court by Evan Roquemore was off the mark.
Santa Clara shot 47.1% from the field (24-of-51), including 28.6% from beyond the arc (4-of-14) and 73.7% from the free throw line (14-of-19). The Broncos collected 28 rebounds, 6 steals, 12 assists, 5 blocks and 9 turnovers.
San Diego shot 53.3% from the field (24-of-45), including 58.3% from beyond the arc (7-of-12) and 70% from the free throw line (14-of-20). The Toreros collected 26 rebounds, 4 steals, 12 assists, 1 block and 10 turnovers.
Dennis Kramer scored 14 and Christopher Anderson added 11 for the San Diego.
The Broncos got off to a fast start when Brownridge hit a 3-pointer just six seconds in and Santa Clara never trailed in the first half. Brownridge scored the first eight points for the Broncos and was nearly matched by Sanadze, who scored the first six for San Diego.
The Broncos led by as many as seven points in the first half taking a 17-10 lead at 10:05 on a jumper by John McArthur. A baseline jumper from Brandon Clark staked the Broncos to a 23-16 lead at 7:24. But a three and a layup by Anderson capped a 9-2 run and tied the game at 25-25 with 4:32 left in the half.
Brownridge countered with a three and Roquemore and Clark each added two free throws as Santa Clara ended the half on a 7-3 run to take a 32-28 lead at halftime.
San Diego took its first lead of the game at 40-38 on a layup by Kramer with just over 15 minutes left but Brown got the Broncos even on a putback in the lane.
With San Diego up 48-46, Toreros' head coach Bill Grier was whistled for a technical and Clark drained the ensuing free throws to knot the game for a fifth time at 12:01.
But just 18 seconds later the game took a drastic turn. With the score tied 48-48, USD's Brett Bailey scored a layup and was fouled on the play. A technical foul was called on the Bronco bench following the bucket resulting in two additional free throws for the Toreros.
Johnny Dee made both technical free throws, his only attempts of the game to extend his streak to 30 straight, and Bailey completed the three-point play and the Toreros had a 53-48 lead and never trailed after that.
NOTES: The Broncos used their 8th different starting lineup this season with Jalen Richard starting in place of Evan Roquemore along with Jared Brownridge, Brandon Clark, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga ... The 10 Broncos who played all saw action by the middle of the first half ... Clark's 11 20+ point games are tied for 6th most by a SCU player since the 2000-01 season ... Evan Roquemore made all four free throws and has converted 18 straight and 29 of his last 30 ... John McArthur set a career-high with four assists and also had four rebounds, four points and four fouls.