Las Vegas, Nev. - Santa Clara fell 61-59 to San Diego at the Zappos.com WCC Championship first round on Friday night. Santa Clara finishes the season at 11-21 and San Diego is 11-20 and advances to play Portland quarterfinals on Saturday.
Santa Clara shot 42.9 percent from the field, including 40 percent from beyond the arc. The Broncos collected 32 rebounds, 10 steals and three blocks. They shot 20 free throws, making 20. San Diego shot 42.9 percent from the field, including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Toreros collected 26 rebounds, nine blocks and five steals. They shot 27 free throws, making 19.
In the first half, Trasolini used some fancy footwork under the basket to score the Broncos first points at 18:48. Smith and Harrison both hit free throws to make it 6-4 USD at 16:42.
Harrison hit a basket and was fouled at 16:08, making the free throw to make it 7-6 Broncos. Johnson sank a 3 for USD to give the Toreros a 9-7 advantage. Johnson then went down and picked up his second foul of the game at 15:16 to take a seat on the bench. Harrison tied it up 9-9 with a basket two feet out at 15:01.
Smith sank a three from the left wing to make it 15-14 USD at 15:28. USD went on a 4-0 run before Ray Cowels hit his first three of the night to make it 19-17 USD at 9:15.
Chris Cunningham scored hard under the basket to tie it up 19-18 at 8:16. His two free throws at 7:17 tied it back up 21-21.
USD went on a 5-0 run to take a 26-21 lead.
Santa Clara went on a 9-1 run from 6:10-2:08. Smith hit a three at 4:30 from the same spot as the last to make it 26-24 USD at 4:35. Santos tied it up 26-26 on a put-back at 4:03.
Dowdell hit a four-foot jumper to give the Broncos the lead again at 3:18.
Santos made a fancy move under the basket to give the Broncos a 30-27 lead at 2:08. After a three by USD, Dowdell hit the second free throw to give SCU the lead again at :44.4.
Smith went to the line with 7.7 left on the clock and hit both to give the Broncos a 33-30 which they took to the lockerroom. His two free throws moved him to No. 2 on the Bronco freshman list with 127, passing former No. 2 Kurt Rambis, (125, 1976-77).
In the first half Smith scored a game-high 11 ponts, hitting two threes and going 3 of 4 from the free throw line. Trasolini collected two blocks to pass John Bryant on the single season blocks list with 50. SCU had four turnovers with nine steals to USD's 11 turnovers and one steal. Chris Lewis scored 10 points for USD.
In the second half, USD came out on a 4-0 run to take a 34-33 lead at 18:49. Harrison stopped the run with a basket and gave the Broncos a 35-34 lead at 18:08. Santos cracked a three at 17:45 to make it 37-34 SCU. Johnson came down and hit a basket off a steal to make it 37-33 Broncos at 16:07. Two Santos free throws gave the Broncos the lead briefly at 14:21 before USD hit a bucket at 14:01 to make it 40-39 USD.
Trasolini hit a basket two feet out to give the Broncos the lead at 12:41. McCollum missed a pair of free throws and Trasolini rebounded the ball to Cowels who sank a three to give the Broncos a 44-40 lead at 11:59. Matt Dorr sank a three to put USD within one at 10:45.
Troy Alexander hit a five foot jumper to give the Broncos a 46-43 lead at 9:59. After a missed USD basket, Santa Clara charged down the court and Santos put a Harrison miss in under the basket at 9:02 to make it 48-44 and then hit the free throw after he was fouled to make it 49-44.
USD called time and went on a 4-0 run in less than a minute, making it 49-48 Broncos at 7:58. Dowdell hit two free throws to stretch the lead to 51-48 Broncos at 6:10. USD tied it up at 5:11 with a free throw and then a field goal. USD had gone on an 8-2 run from 9:02 - 5:11.
Dowdell stepped to the line at 3:57 and sank both to give the Broncos a 53-51 lead at 3:40 before Mafra tied it up 3:40 and then hit the free throw to give USD a 54-53 lead at 3:40. Dorr hit two free throws at 3:27 to give USD a 56-53 lead.
Santa Clara hadn't scored a field goal since 9:02, as USD went on a 14-4 run up to 1:58, taking a 57-53 lead. Smith finally crushed a three at 1:36 to make it 57-56 USD. It was his first points of the second half.
Harrison hit the second of two free throws to make it 59-57 USD at :46.3. USD's Johnson made one free throw at 18.0 to make it 60-57 USD.
Santa Clara called a full time out :18.0 to set up a play. Smith drove the basket and missed and the ball went out of bounds off USD. With :00.1 on the clock Santa Clara in-bounded a last-second shot and USD called its last timeout.
Again SCU went to inbound the ball and the officials went to talk again for the third time. The officials got a better look from the tv truck and put :00.4 on the block. SCU tried but it wasn't enough, ending its season with a 61-59 loss to USD.