Santa Clara, Calif. - Despite a career-night from Denzel Johnson, the Broncos fell 90-77 to USF in the Leavey Center. The Broncos fall to 8-12 overall, 0-7 in WCC action while USF moves to 14-9 and 4-5 in conference play.
The Broncos will play Pepperdine in Malibu Saturday before returning home to play Portland on Thursday, February 5th in the Leavey Center. The game in Malibu will be the Broncos fourth game in seven days.
Santa Clara shot 48.5 percent from the field (33 of 68), including 22.7 percent beyond the arc (5 of 22). They collected 33 rebounds, 16 assists, eight blocks and four steals. The Broncos shot 54.5 percent from the charity stripe (6 of 11) and turned the ball over nine times.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Johnson's career-high 26 points. It was the most by a Bronco in the WCC this season. Niyi Harrison and Evan Roquemore were the only other Broncos in double figures with 13 and 10 respectively. Atanga led the Broncos on the glass with eight boards.
USF shot 53.6 percent from the field (30-56), including 41.7 percent beyond the arc (5 of 12). They collected 38 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and three steals. The Dons shot 71.4 percent from the charity stripe (25 of 35) and turned the ball over 13 times.
Individually, USF was led by 20 points (12 of 14 free throwing) by Angelo Caloiaro. Perris Blackwell scored 19 while grabbing five rebounds, and Rashad Green added 18 points and nine rebounds. Cody Doolin added 14 for for the Dons.
Harrison opened up the scoring with a transition dunk and the teams swapped points to start. Johnson and Green traded threes and the Dons took a 7-6 lead into the first media time out.
Caloiaro converted an and-one and the Broncos ended their three minute scoring drought when Johnson found McArthur underneath the bucket for a lay in. Garrett finished on the inside to even the score at 10 at 12:00. After a USF free throws Cowels III found Garrett on the inside for his second bucket in a row.
Caloiaro hit two free throws but Cowels III answered on the other end with a three. USF countered as Williams mid-range jumper helped fuel an 8-0 run for the Dons. Roquemore finished at the rim and Johnson hit a base line jumper to get the Broncos within 3 at 5:46.
After a Blackwell bucket, Johnson finished with the left hand. After another mini 6-0 run for the Dons, Garrett threw down a dunk on the inside. The teams went back and forth capped by a Niyi Harrison and-one. Raffington finished inside plus a foul and Jordan Awkenuke knocked down a pair of free throws. Atanga knocked down a free throw but Green drilled a three before the half expired, and the Dons took a 41-33 lead going into the locker room.
In the first half Santa Clara shot 37.1 percent from the field (13 of 35), including 14.3 percent beyond the arc (2 of 14). They collected 20 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and three steals. The Broncos shot 62.5 percent from the charity stripe (5 of 8) and turned the ball over 4 times.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Johnson's nine points and three assists. Harrison added seven points and four rebounds, while Garrett chipped in six off the bench.
In the first half USF shot 44.4% percent from the field (12 of 27), including 42.9% percent beyond the arc (3 of 7). They collected 22 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. The Dons shot 73.7 percent from the charity stripe (14 of 19) and turned the ball over seven times.
Individually USF was led by Caloiaro's 10 points and three rebounds. Green scored eight points while Blackwell and Williams each finished the half with six.
Both teams began the second half on fire, trading baskets for the first four minutes. The Dons pushed the lead to 15 with free throws from Caloiaro and a bucket inside by Blackwell. Johnson finished with the left hand but it was Doolin answering for the Dons from three. Roquemore hit a step-back bank shot and Johnson hit a floater in the land to cut the Dons lead to 12 at 12:39.
B. Clark hit a free throw free throw line jumper and Johnson beat the Dons down the floor to cut the lead to eight. Caloiaro responded, scoring the next four points for USF. Atanga finished a second chance opportunity and Cowels III hit a three from the left corner to cut the lead back to eight.
Williams and Johnson traded threes but the Dons rattled off four straight points to push the lead back to 12. Roquemore got his first three to go from the right side and Niyi Harrison converted on the inside to cut the lead to 7 at 6:06. The Dons continued to answer the Brnocos as Green finished on a second chance opportunity and Doolin knocked two free throws.
Johnson and Cowels III both knocked down jumpers but Green answered on the other end. Johnson tried to will the Bronocs back into it, scoring the next four points to cut the lead to five. Doolin scored on the other end to push the Dons lead to 7 with 1:30 to play.
Caloiaro hit two free throws but Roquemore's and-one cut it to six. On the ensuing possession Blackwell finished a fastbreak bucket plus a free throw to all but Ice the games for Dons.