March 5, 2004
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - J.R. Patrick made five 3-pointers on the way to 19 points and Santa Clara built a big early lead in an 82-48 rout of San Diego in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament Friday night.
Patrick was 5-for-7 from long range, and also had four rebounds and four steals in the most lopsided win ever in the series between the schools. Santa Clara, which went 11-for-25 from 3-point range, advanced to play fourth-seeded San Francisco on Saturday.
Kyle Bailey added 17 points with three 3s, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for the fifth-seeded Broncos (15-15), who had lost five of their last six games but came out inspired. They jumped to a 28-2 lead before San Diego could find any flow on offense.
Santa Clara set a team record for largest margin of victory in a WCC tournament game, surpassing a 31-point win over Portland in the first round in 1987. It also marked the lowest score by a Santa Clara opponent in the conference tournament. The Broncos held Saint Mary's to 50 points in a second-round victory in 1987.
Eighth-seeded San Diego (4-26) came in with five players averaging in double figures, but the cold-shooting Toreros couldn't do that against Santa Clara's switching defense.
Brad Lechtenberg scored 20 and was the only San Diego player in double digits.
Santa Clara and San Diego split their two regular-season meetings, playing twice in a three-day span with the games being decided by a total of eight points. Santa Clara won 74-69 at home Feb. 5, then lost in San Diego 74-71.
Once Friday's game was well out of reach in the second half, the Santa Clara student section began chanting, "We want Graham! We want Graham!" to encourage coach Dick Davey to play freshman walk-on Graham Neuburger.
Davey obliged, sending the 5-foot-11 guard into the game with 2:14 left. And Neuburger delighted the hometown crowd when he assisted on Alex Kargbo's lay-in with 6 seconds left.
San Diego won this tournament last season, upsetting favored Gonzaga 72-63 in the final played on the Toreros' home floor. The tournament is back at Santa Clara for the first time since 2000 after a three-year run at San Diego. This is the first tournament at the Leavey Center since the former Toso Pavilion was remodeled and renamed.
Patrick had three 3-pointers in the first half and Bailey had two as the Broncos shot 7-for-16 from long range and 53.1 percent overall (17-of-32).