LOS ANGELES – KJ Feagin posted a game-high 22 points and Henry Caruso scored 13 as the Santa Clara men's basketball took advantage of mistake-prone Loyola Marymount to claim a 65-49 victory in Thursday's West Coast Conference matchup.
Steven Haney scored 17 for the Lions (5-9, 0-3) who shot 44 percent from the floor, including 11 of 21 in the opening half, but committed 19 turnovers, leading to 19 points for the Broncos.
Haney's fastbreak layup cut the Santa Clara lead to 43-36 midway through the second half, but Feagin scored seven straight to push the lead to 50-37.
The Lions were unable to cut the deficit into single digits the rest of the way.
The Broncos offset 15 turnovers of their own by connecting on 49 percent from the floor and holding a 29-23 edge in rebounding.
Santa Clara's defense also bottled up James Batemon, LMU's leading scorer, by holding the junior guard to season-low tying six points on 2 of 5 from the floor. He came in averaging 18.7 points on the season.
"That was a big key for us to hold Batemon well under his scoring average," head coach Herb Sendel said. "I think since December 1st he's one of the top-five scorers in the country. And to hold him to six points is good team defense as well. But holding him under his average and not letting him get going was certainly a key for us in winning the game tonight."
Caruso also had seven rebounds and three of the team's eight steals.
Emmanuel Ndumnaya had season-high 11 rebounds for the Broncos
LMU committed eight turnovers in the opening 12 minutes of the game to help the Broncos to a 17-12 lead.
The Lions pulled within 22-21 on a layup from Scott, but Feagin and Caruso combined to score the final nine points for the Broncos who led 31-23 at the half.
LMU had only one basket in the final four minutes of the half.
Santa Clara was whistled for a season-low 12 fouls and LMU had the lowest point total by an opponent this season.
• Matt Hauser, KJ Feagin, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started for the ninth time this season, including third-straight contest.
• In a series that began in 1937, the Broncos hold an 91-59 lead. Santa Clara has won six of the last eight, but the teams have split the regular-season series in four of the last five years. The Broncos won all three meetings in 2014-15.
• The Broncos turnover total (15) was tied for the second-most this season, but the Lions were only able to generate 10 points.
• Feagin scored 20 or more points for the sixth time this season.
HIGHLIGHTS | Three dunks from in the second half of last night's 65-49 @WCCSports victory at LMU! FULL HIGHLIGHTS ▶️ https://t.co/oW1NCh8jAC #StampedeAhead #SCUBroncos #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/TZIyxV0oEj— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) January 6, 2018
The Broncos play Portland at home on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
"KJ is a tremendous talent and outstanding player. We rely on him for so much and he's so important to us. Tonight, he really had a brilliant game despite blowing out his shoe and having some foot discomfort as a result. He had to put on some new sneakers on late in the second half. His offensive efficiency was really good.
"We've talked to KJ about being assertive right from the beginning because our team is better when he's in that mindset and groove. He has to play well for us and score. We put a lot on his shoulders and sometimes I think he tries to maybe some other guys involved early, which is fine but we are at our best when he's assertive and he's in an attack mode."
Head coach Herb Sendek on KJ Feagin's performance