San Francisco, Calif. – Yannick Atanga's tip-in with 53.5 seconds left pulled the Broncos within four, but Tim Derksen sank four free throws in the final 52 seconds and had a key steal as well to help lead USF to a 75-66 victory at War Memorial Gym on Saturday night.
The hard-fought battle was highlighted by another career night by Bronco rookie Jared Brownridge. Brownridge tied a career-high with 30 points, including five threes and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. It was his second straight WCC game with 30+ points as he scored 30 vs. BYU on Jan. 18.
SCU is 10-12 and 3-6 in WCC play and USF is 13-8 and 6-3 in WCC play.
Santa Clara shot 39.0 percent from the field (23 of 59), including 30.0 percent beyond the arc (6 of 20). The Broncos shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line (14 of 18). They collected 24 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, seven steals and had nine turnovers.
Brownridge's 30 points included 20 points in the second half. He hit five threes for the fourth time this year and he was 9 of 10 from the free throw line. He has made 17 of 18 of his free throws in the last two games. Brownridge scored double figures for the 17th time and he has led SCU in scoring 10 times this year.
Brandon Clark added 12 points and four assists, breaking his streak of four straight 20+ points games. Yannick Atanga led the Broncos with five rebounds. Evan Roquemore scored seven points on 3 of 11 shooting from the field and he added 1 assist.
USF shot 49.0 percent from the field (24 of 49), including 22.2 percent beyond the arc (4 of 18). The Dons shot 82.1 percent from the free throw line (23 of 28). They collected 41 rebounds, 12 assists, two blocks, five steals and had 15 turnovers.
Cole Dickerson led USF with 28 points and eight boards. Mark Tollefsen had 12 points. Kruise Pinkins added 14 points and Matt Glover collected 13 rebounds.
Clark opened the second half with back-to-back baskets in the first 40 seconds. USF went on a 6-0 run to take a 40-28 lead at 16:28. McArthur scored an and one at 15:13, but USF answered twice to go back up by 12 at 13:57.
The Broncos 9-4 run was highlighted by Brownridge's fourth three of the game at 10:47 to cut the lead to six, 49-43 Dons. Dickerson's three point play made it 52-43 at 10:34. Brownridge scored another pair of free throws to cut the lead to four at 9:07.
After USF scored, Glover was whistled for a technical foul and Brownridge made both free throws to cut the lead to four again, 56-52, at 8:17.
The Dons scored seven straight over the next 3:29 to pull ahead 63-52 at 4:12. Brownridge scored another pair of free throws to stop the run at 4:03. Dickerson crushed a three at 3:24.
Atanga tipped it in to pull the Broncos within four with 53.5 seconds left. Derksen sank a pair of free throws and then he stole the ball from Clark and threw it to Dickerson for a basket with 39 seconds left. Atanga scored again with 32 seconds left to make the USF lead just six. Derksen hit another pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal USF's 75-66 victory.
The lead changed four times in the first half early on with one tie. Brownridge opened the game with a couple threes at 18:47 and 18:23 while USF scored four straight field goals to take an 8-6 lead at 17:12. Atanga scored under the basket to make it 10-8 USF at 15:59.
After Clark scored an and one at 11:14, USF went on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes which saw the Broncos miss 10 straight field goals as the Dons took a 29-14 lead at 4:10. Atanga stopped the run with a bucket inside at 3:46 and McArthur followed at 2:44.
Brownridge scored his third three of the half with 38 seconds left to cut the Dons lead to nine, 31-22. Tollefsen scored a three with nine seconds left to make it 34-22 Dons at the half. Brownridge and Dickerson led their respective teams with 10 points each in the first half.
Bronco Game Notes: Jalen Richard, Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga started the game … Brownridge moved to No. 5 on SCU's all-time freshman points scored list, passing Londale Theus (356, 1976-77), James Rahon (361, 2008-09) and Brian Jones (375, 1996-97). Brownridge has scored 379 points this season. He is the 14th Bronco in school history to have multiple 30+ point games in a single season, joining Clark, who did it as well this season … Roquemore played in his 124th career game, which ties him at No. 7 with John Bryant (2005-09) … USF retired No. 32 Ollie Johnson's number at halftime.