Santa Clara Falls To Pacific, 71-65

Dec. 12, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Anthony Brown came off the bench to score 15 points and grab nine rebounds, calmly sinking two free throws with 56 seconds left to lead Pacific past Santa Clara 71-65 on Wednesday night for only the Tigers' 10th road victory in 53 tries in the series.

Chad Troyer added 11 points, Steffan Johnson had five assists and the Tigers did an effective job holding Santa Clara big man John Bryant in check. Bryant, the Broncos' 6-foot-10, 305-pound West Coast Conference player of the week, had 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting and four rebounds playing in foul trouble.

Mitch Henke scored 21 for Santa Clara and converted a late three-point play in just the team's second home game, which was played before a smaller crowd at the Leavey Center minus the students who already headed home for the holidays. The Broncos returned from a seven-game road trip having won three of their previous four contests -- and they had won the last two meetings against Pacific.

The Tigers led 38-32 before Henke converted three free throws at 15:39 and Bryant scored the next time down to make it a one-point game. Yet Pacific answered with back-to-back 3s, by Johnson and Terrell Smith, and Santa Clara couldn't do enough defensively down the stretch to pull off a comeback.

Michael Kirby's 3-pointer with 7:10 left put Pacific ahead 60-47, and the Tigers made 21 of 29 free throws. Andrew Zimmerman hit two free throws to get Santa Clara to 64-57 before Pacific put the game away.

In a rare move, Pacific coach Bob Thomason opted not to start Brown. He was the team's leading scorer last season as a sophomore and started all 31 games. It worked out fine, too. Pacific shot 48 percent and held even with Santa Clara at 32 rebounds.

Santa Clara senior guard Brody Angley struggled from the field in his 100th career game, scoring nine points on 4-of-11 shooting -- missing all four of his 3-point tries -- and also passing for six assists.

Santa Clara started the game 3-for-10 and committed five of its 14 turnovers in the opening nine minutes. The Broncos hit four first-half 3-pointers to stay within 29-25 at halftime despite shooting only 38 percent.

The Tigers had lost four of five in the series and are only 10-43 in games played at Santa Clara. Pacific certainly wants to become a better road team after going 4-10 away from the Spanos Center last season.

San Francisco Giants right fielder Randy Winn, who played basketball for the Broncos, sat courtside.

The Broncos get back into action on Monday, Dec. 17 against the Montana Grizzlies. The game tips off at 7 p.m. PT at the Leavey Center.