LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After falling behind by 21 in the first half, Santa Clara battled back to within three in the second half, but it wasn't enough as the Broncos lost 81-70 at LMU on Saturday night. The win snapped Santa Clara's four-game winning streak vs. the Lions.
Santa Clara is 8-13 and 0-4 in the WCC. LMU is 10-10 and 1-2 in the WCC. Santa Clara travels to USF next Saturday night.
Santa Clara shot 41.0 percent from the field, including 25 percent from beyond the arc. Santa Clara collected 36 rebounds, five steals and five blocks with 12 turnovers. LMU shot 46.2 percent from the field, including 53.8 percent from beyond the arc. LMU collected 36 rebounds, three blocks and a steal with 10 turnovers. Santa Clara shot 72. 7 percent from the line (16 of 22) and LMU shot 70.3 percent from the line (26 of 37).
Individually Marc Trasolini finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Michael Santos added 14 points, Robert Smith scored 12 and Ben Dowdell scored 10. Troy Payne led the Broncos on the boards with seven rebounds. For the Lions, they had five players in double figures, including Jared DuBois, who scored 17 and Ashley Hamilton, who scored 15 points with 10 rebounds.
In the first half LMU bounded out to a 19-2 lead at 15:14, hitting seven of its first seven shots, including three threes and two free throws. Santa Clara's lone basket came from Trasolini at 17:21.
Santa Clara seemed shocked as the Lions built their lead to 21-4 at 14:22. The Lions hit eight of their first nine shots and made good on another three pointer to take a 25-4 lead at 13:07.
Santa Clara then went on a 14-7 run. SCU scored two baskets and Michael Santos crushed a three to make it 27-11 LMU at 10:31. A Smith three followed a Payne basket to make it 30-16 LMU at 9:21. Smith hit a free throw as did Santos. Payne and Smith laid the ball up for two points each as LMU called a 30-second timeout at 4:53, up just 36-24 after leading 25-4 nine minutes before.
Santa Clara went more than four minutes without a basket (4:53-1:24) when Dowdell laid one in, was fouled and made the free throw. LMU 43-30.
The half ended with LMU up 45-32. The Broncos were led by Smith's eight points. LMU was led by Kevin Young's 10 points. LMU shot 61.5 percent and Santa Clara shot 39.3 percent with LMU hitting eight of 10 free throws and the Broncos connecting on just eight of 14.
To start the second half, Trasolini connected on a shot under the basket and then a three. Santos hit two free throws to make it 47-39 LMU at 17:58. Another Trasolini tip-in and the Lions called a 30-second timeout at 16:15, up by eight, 51-43 Lions. After scoring just two points in the first half, Trasolini suddenly had 13 points at 16:15 in the second half.
A couple free throws by Cowels and the Broncos had cut the lead by seven, 56-49, at 12:43. Cowels kicked it to Smith who knocked down a field goal. The Broncos were down by just five, 56-51, at the media timeout at 11:16. After a couple miscues by both teams and bevy of whistles, Payne rebounded the ball and threw it the length of the court for Harrison who did a fancy dance under the basket for two, 56-53 Lions at 9:56.
The Lions roared back to go on a 7-2 run and push the lead back to eight, 63-55, at 7:21. Both teams hit a pair of free throws to make it 65-57 LMU at 4:18.
Santa Clara went on a seven-minute scoring drought from the field (9:56 - 2:50) when Trasolini laid it in for two, Lions 68-59. Santos scored a layup to make it 72-61 Lions at 1:19.