Broncos Escape UMBC With Narrow Victory

Dec 20, 2002

Box Score| Photo Gallery

CATONSVILLE, Md. - Santa Clara University junior center Jim Howell blocked a shot with less than :01 second left on the clock to preserve a 55-54 win over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Friday in front of an announced crowd of 2,213 at the Retriever Activities Center.

Santa Clara, playing without the services of guards Kyle Bailey and Bakari Altheimer due to injury, improved to 5-3 on the season. UMBC falls to 3-3 heading into Monday's contest at the University of Maryland. Santa Clara plays at Loyola College on Sunday.

Sophomore forward Jordan Legge led the Broncos in scoring, pouring in a season-high 16 points to go with his seven rebounds in the game. Howell scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high eight boards. UMBC was led by Kareem Washington, who connected on 4-of-9 three-point attempts, with 16 points.

"Down the stretch, we finally got some shots to go in the basket and that was the difference in the game," said head coach Dick Davey, who improves to 2-0 over UMBC. "(UMBC) is very efficient in what they do and is very well coached. Early in the game, there wasn't much they were doing that we could stop. The problem at that point was that neither team was shooting the ball very well."

Up 55-52 with :11 seconds left in the game, UMBC's P.J. Hatcher connected on a basket to bring the Retrievers within one. The Broncos then committed a costly turnover on the inbounds play and UMBC regained possession with just :04 seconds remaining. Washington took the inbounds pass, dribbled in traffic and drove in for the potential game-winner. Howell blocked the shot and the Broncos regained possession to end the game.

"We really weren't sure what UMBC was going to do on that last inbound play," said Davey. "They ended-up not getting their first option and I thought we did a pretty good job of clogging up the post area. Jim made a good play that saved the game for us. We are fortunate to get out of this one with a win."

Down 26-23 at half, Davey inserted J.R. Patrick and Brandon Rohe into the starting lineup for the second period. Following a basket by Legge, the Broncos took their first lead of the half on a natural three-point play by Patrick. Rohe found the streaking Patrick on a fast break layup and he was fouled by Washington.

With the Broncos owning a 32-31 lead, the Retrievers went on an 8-0 run, keyed by three-straight steals and resulting layups by Justin Wilson and a fast break dunk by Washington, to give UMBC its biggest lead of the game at 39-31.

Then the Broncos went on the offensive, clicking-off a 12-0 run of their own.

Ethan Rohde connected on the Broncos' first three-point basket of the game with 11:28 left to bring the Broncos to within four at 43-39. Rohde then connected on a 15-foot jumper near the right baseline off an inbounds play with 10:01 remaining to make the score 43-41. Legge scored a three-point play then consecutive free throws to reclaim the SCU lead at 46-43 with 9:18 remaining.

Rohe converted a steal and layup to cap a 12-point Bronco run that gave SCU a 48-43 lead with 7:03 remaining in the game. UMBC contributed to SCU's run with two turnovers and three missed free throws.

In a physical first half that saw the two teams combine for 17 fouls, the Broncos suffered a poor perimeter shooting effort to record their second-lowest scoring half this season with UMBC owning a 26-23 halftime lead. The Broncos shot 0-for-7 from beyond the three-point stripe and made just three of its seven free throw attempts.

Washington connected on is third three-point field goal of the first half to give the Retrievers their largest lead of the half at 25-19 with 1:18 remaining on the clock. Brad Anderson scored his only basket in the half with :27 seconds left and, following a Wilson free throw, Alex Kargbo dribbled the length of the court to make a layup as the buzzer sounded to end the period.

The game marked a milestone for Santa Clara's veteran radio play-by-play announcer Dave Lewis. In his eighth season as the voice of Bronco men's basketball, Lewis has called 200 SCU games.

Santa Clara remains in Baltimore for a Sunday afternoon game at Loyola College (Md.) Sunday at 11 a.m. (Pacific) before returning to California for the holiday break. The game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network, which consists of KDIA 1640 AM, KSCU 103.3 FM and on the Internet at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.

The Broncos return to the Mission campus for the 36th annual Cable Car Classic Dec. 27-28 at the Leavey Center. Santa Clara plays Mississippi Valley State in the first game at 6 p.m. on the 27th, while Princeton will face Texas A&M 30 minutes following. The consolation game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on the 28th with the championship game following afterward. Call 408/554-4660 for ticket information.