Santa Clara went on a 13-3 run as Jared Brownridge hit a three with 53.8 seconds left to give SCU a one-point lead and then iced it with a pair of free throws with 10.8 ticks left to lead the Broncos to a 66-65 victory over South Florida in its final game of the 13th annual Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic. The Broncos were 17 of 20 from the free throw line and USF was 9 of 24.
Santa Clara is 7-6 and South Florida, of the Big East Conference, is 8-4. Santa Clara begins West Coast Conference play a week early this year, playing at No. 24 Gonzaga on Sat., Dec. 28 at 5 pm on ESPNU and then at Portland on Mon., Dec. 30 at 3 pm on TheWTV.
Santa Clara shot 38.2 percent from the field (21 of 55), including 35.0 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 20). The Broncos shot 17 of 20 from the free throw line (85.0 percent). They collected 31 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, no blocks and eight turnovers.
Individually the Broncos were led by Brandon Clark who scored 12 points with three assists. Brownridge finished with 10, including two threes. Jalen Richard was seven of eight from the free throw line with a three for 10 points and seven rebounds. Evan Roquemore added eight points with five assists. Jerry Brown grabbed 11 boards.
South Florida shot 55.1 percent from the field (27 of 49), including 33. percent from beyond the arc (2 of 6). The Bulls shot 9 of 24 from the free throw line (37.5 percent). They collected 37 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, three blocks and 14 turnovers.
Individually the Bulls were led by Victor Rudd's 19 points and nine rebounds. John Egbunu added 11, Shemlye McLendon 10 and Chris Perry 13.
The Broncos trailed by nine after Brownridge and Rudd traded threes before Egbunu dunked it and Hawkins drove inside to make it 60-51 USF at 5:30.
Brownridge then scored from 10 feet out, Clark drove inside and Richard hit a pair of free throws to cut the nine-point lead to two at 2:34, 63-61 Bulls. Brownridge's three at 53.8 gave SCU a 64-63 lead. It was a 13-3 run. South Florida called for its final timeout to draw up a play and then McLendon scored inside at 27.2 to put the Bulls back up by one, 65-64.
Brownridge was fouled at 10.3 and hit both to put SCU up 66-65 – the final score.
Clark opened the second half with six of the Bronco's eight points as SCU ran out to a 36-28 at 18:12. The Bulls scored seven straight to pull within one, but Brown and Roquemore scored back-to-back baskets inside and the Broncos had space again, leading by five at 16:17, 40-35.
The Bulls scored seven of the next nine points to tie it up 42-42 and took the lead at 12:25 on Brock's jump-stop basket inside. Kratch's three from the corner stopped the run at 11:57 and Roquemore's jumper tied it up again 47-47.
USF scored six straight to run out to a 53-47 lead at 9:03. The Bulls had a chance to add to their lead, but missed three straight free throws.
USF went on a 6-2 run to take a 19-17 lead, but Roquemore drove inside for a bucket to tie it up at 4:51. Richard's three ball at 2:41 and McArthur's two makes at the stripe made it 24-23 Broncos at 1:32.
Egbunu scored his own miss with 26.5 seconds left and Roquemore scored inside at the buzzer to give the Broncos a three-point cushion heading into the lockerroom with a 28-25 lead.