Santa Clara, CA -- In front of a sold-out crowd at the Leavey Center, down 10 with five minutes left, the Broncos rallied back to take a one-point lead on a floater by Brandon Clark with 28.6 seconds left after a huge three by Evan Roquemore at 1:23, but No. 24 Gonzaga's Sam Dower hit a three from the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left to dash Santa Clara's upset hopes and give Gonzaga the 54-52 win.
Santa Clara is 10-13 and 3-7 in the WCC. Gonzaga is 19-3 and 9-1 in the WCC.
Commenting on Gonzaga's final play, Coach Keating said "Obviously we were switching a good bit and did a good job of forcing the first timeout (with 15 seconds left). But as lucky as it was (Dower's three) –Sam has hit those before."
"We grew up some tonight," added Keating. "We had a good week of practice and good focus. I thought we played them really well."
Santa Clara shot 36 percent from the field (18 of 50), including 27.8 percent beyond the arc (5 of 18). The Broncos collected 33 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks and had 13 turnovers. They shot 91.7 percent from the free throw line (11 of 12).
Evan Roquemore led the Broncos with a game-high tying 15 points making 4 of 6 threes. Brandon Clark added 12 with five rebounds and Jared Brownridge was held to six. Yannick Atanga led the Broncos with seven rebounds.
Gonzaga shot 34.8 percent from the field (16 of 46), including 41.7 percent beyond the arc (5 of 12). The Zags collected 32 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals, 5 blocks and had 13 turnovers. They shot 89.5 percent from the free throw line (17 of 19).
Gary Bell Jr. matched Roquemore with 15 points, Sam Dower had 13, including the game-winning three on his only attempt, and Premek Karnowski add 11 points and eight rebounds.
With the Broncos up 22-20 at the half, Brownridge sank a pair of free throws at 19:10 to open the second stanza. Richard danced on Stockton and hit a three at 18:13 to put SCU up 27-20.
The Zags scored back-to-back baskets and then Richard sank a pair of free throws at 16:46. Brownridge boogied inside for a basket at 16:06 and Mark Few had seen enough to call for time as the Broncos led 31-24.
The Zags went on an 11-0 run over the next 3:43 to take a 35-31 lead; and the Broncos called for timeout, having gone 0 for 5 during the run.
Clark's two free throws stopped the run at 10:40. Clark scored inside after Kyle Dranginis hit a three. Roquemore blocked Stockton's ball and then went the distance for a lay-up through traffic at 8:55. Bell hit back-to-back threes to make it 44-37 at 6:32.
Gonzaga took a 10-point lead at 4:10 on a pair of free throws by Dower, 49-39. Roquemore answered with a four-point play at 3:47. Clark scored inside on back-to-back possessions and the Broncos trailed by two with 2:08 left.
Roquemore crushed a three with 1:22 left to pull the Broncos back within one. Clark scored inside with 28 seconds left to put SCU up by one, 52-51. They had been down by 10 at 6:05.
Scrambling on offense, Dower was alone at the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left and sank a three to make it 54-52 Gonzaga.
The two teams battled back and forth in the first half to seven lead changes and three ties. The teams were tied 404 when Clark hit a jumper at 15:09. After the Clark basket, he and McArthur blocked back-to-back attempts by the Zags. Fouled going inside, Jerry Brown connected on both of his free throws.
The Zags rallied for five straight to take a 10-8 lead at 10:37. Kratch scored inside with Karnowski on top of him and he sank the free throw at 9:41 to put SCU back up by one, 11-10.
After a couple Gonzaga baskets inside, Roquemore crushed a three at 6:52 to knot it up at 14. Gonzaga scored twice to go up 18-14. Roquemore came up big again at 3:05 with another three to pull the Broncos within one.
The lead changed hands twice in the final 52 seconds of the first half. Kratch scored inside to put SCU up 19-18 and then Pangos hit a pair of free throws at :48.9 Kratch scored the and one with 30.9 seconds left to make it 22-20 Broncos. After a Gonzaga 30-second timeout Bell was called for a charge with 4.7 seconds left and Roquemore's last second three went off the back-board.
A 9-0 run by the Zags was stopped by a basket by Atanga inside at 4:33.
Game Notes: Jalen Richard, Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga started for the second straight game … The game was a sell-out with announced crowd of 4,721 ... Roquemore and Clark combined to score the Bronos final 13 points of the game.