Jan. 4, 2009
In the first meeting ever between UNH and SCU in any sport, UNH used a strong second half to eclipse a Broncos first-half lead and take a 58-54 win.
Marc Trasolini led the way for Santa Clara with a career-high 24 points. UNH's Alvin Abreu knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers and was perfect from behind the arc, setting a school record for most treys in a game without a miss.
Leading 51-43 with 4:11 to play, the Wildcats saw their largest lead of the game begin to dwindle after an 8-1 Santa Clara run - capped by a Trasolini layup - cut the UNH lead to one with 1:54 left. Tyrece Gibbs stepped up, however, sinking a jumper in the paint to stop the bleeding and put UNH on top, 54-51, with 1:06 remaining. After an SCU free throw made it a two-point game, UNH center Dane DiLiegro scored to make it 56-52 with 16 seconds left. After Abreu missed a jumper, DiLiegro hit a jumper.
The Broncos took a 23-22 lead at the half, but the Wildcats came out of the locker room with a 13-4 run, which included a trio of 3-pointers from Abreu, pushed UNH's lead to 35-27 at 16:29. After a seesaw battle that ended with Abreu's final trey from the top of the key that made it 45-37 with 8:14 remaining, the Broncos scored five straight points to cut their deficit to three just under a minute later, until UNH used a 5-1 stretch to bump its lead back up to eight, 51-43, with just over four minutes left.
John Bryant, who came into the game averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, had just seven points and eight rebounds. Trasolini led the Broncos with a career-high 24 points and tied a career-high with 10 boards.