SAN FRANCISCO – Santa Clara men's basketball used strong defense and clutch free-throwing shooting to close out its second win of the season away from home.
KJ Feagin scored a game-high 23, including 19 in the second half, and Henry Caruso posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Broncos to a gritty 65-62 win over rival San Francisco on Thursday in West Coast Conference action.
The Broncos trailed for only 30 seconds, but the Dons (10-10, 2-5), who lost their third-straight game, pulled within 49-48 with 5 minutes remaining on a layup from leading scorer Souley Boum.
But Feagin scored the next five points for the Broncos (7-12, 4-3) and Caruso made one of two free throws for 55-50 lead with 2:24 to go.
Santa Clara, which had an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers, controlled the glass down the stretch, not allowing the Dons any second opportunities. Caruso's free throw with 23 seconds left increased the lead to 63-56.
Santa Clara went without a field goal in the final 5:08 (0-for-3), but made up for it at the free-throw line, connecting on 10 of 12 in the last 1:42.
Frankie Ferrari scored 13 and Matt McCarty added 10 points for the Dons who shot 41 percent from the floor, including 5 of 21 from behind the 3-point line.
Santa Clara was only 3-for-11 on 3-pointers, but shot 50 percent from the floor, including 56 percent in the second half.
The Broncos hit five of their first six field-goal attempts of the game and pulled ahead 20-14 on a jumper from KJ Feagin.
But Santa Clara missed its next six from the floor. Hauser snapped a 5:41 scoreless drought with a 3-pointer, giving the Broncos a 23-19 edge.
USF went 1-for-10 from the floor in the final 4 minutes of the first half. Boum, who averages 14 points, went scoreless in the opening 20 minutes, but ended up with nine in the game.
Santa Clara, which won at LMU earlier this month, had only seven players see action.
• Matt Hauser, KJ Feagin, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started for the 13th time this season, including seventh-straight contest.
• In a series that began in 1908, the Broncos hold a 115-107 lead. The 222 meetings are the second-most of any Santa Clara opponent (224 vs. Saint Mary's). The Dons have captured six of the last 10 games, but the Broncos won three of the most recent four.
• Shaquille Walters and Matt Turner both missed the game due to an illness.
• Caruso recorded his sixth-career double-double, including third this season.
• Kai Healy and Jarvis Pugh were the only two reserves for the Broncos. That duo combined for nine rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Healy had four rebounds and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line, all in the second half.
• Santa Clara was credited with a season-low six assists and its second-highest turnover total (21 at Gonzaga).
• Feagin scored 20 or more points for the seventh time this season. He's averaged 24.5 points over his last two appearances at War Memorial at Sobrato Center. The junior scored a career-high tying 26 last season.
• Santa Clara's three 3-pointers were its second-fewest of the season. The Broncos went 2 of 9 against Cal Poly (Nov. 18).
• The Broncos posted a season-high five blocked shots.
The Broncos play host to No. 15 Gonzaga on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. in the WCC Game of the Week.
"I thought our guys played outstanding basketball against a very good San Francisco team on the road. Our guys executed on offense, minus not taking care of the basketball. Defensively, in the first half I thought we were as good as we've been all year. Coach (Jason) Ludwig did a really good job with the scout and the guys were locked in and focused. That was a really good team, road win."
Head coach Herb Sendek
HIGHLIGHT | Vrankic with the dish and Caruso with the flush! Watch full highlights from last night's @WCCSports road victory over San Francisco here ▶️ https://t.co/Mv20F85SS9 #StampedeAhead #SCUBroncos #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/i1IPFzVjc0— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) January 20, 2018