SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Freshman Jared Brownridge scored a career-high 30 points and Brandon Clark added 20, but BYU shot a season-best 61.5 percent from the field and defeated the Broncos for a ninth consecutive time, 91-81, in a West Coast Conference game Saturday night at Leavey Center.
The Broncos fell to 10-11 overall and 3-5 in WCC play. BYU won its fifth straight and improved to 13-7 overall, 5-2 in conference.
Playing Santa Clara seems to bring out the best in the Cougars, who shot over 53 percent from the field for a third straight game against Santa Clara, this time connecting on 32 of 52 tries. Over the three games BYU has shot 57.7 percent making 97 of 168 field goals.
Santa Clara shot 44.3% from the field (27-of-61), including 36% from beyond the arc (9-of-25) and 81.8% from the free throw line (18-of-22). The Broncos collected 27 rebounds, 6 steals, 14 assists, 5 blocks and 9 turnovers.
Brownridge hit 9-of-21 field goals and was 4 of 11 from three point land. He also converted all eight of his free throw attempts in his first 30 point game. Clark played nearly the entire game, sitting for a brief stretch in the first half, and hit the 20-point mark for a fifth straight game and 12th this season connecting on 8 of 21 field goals and a season-high seven assists.
BYU shot 61.5% from the field, including 63.6% from beyond the arc (7-of-11) and 69% from the free throw line (20-of-29). The Cougars collected 36 rebounds, 4 steals, 22 assists, 2 blocks and 13 turnovers.
Kyle Collinsworth led six Cougars in double-figures with 18 while the WCC's leading scorer Tyler Haws and Anson Winder chipped in with 16. Haws collected two personal fouls in the first 45 seconds of the game and sat the remainder of the first half without scoring a point.
He hit 5 of 7 field goals in the second half and all six free throws but ended six points below his season average.
Jerry Brown hit two free throws and a layup to give the Broncos an early 4-1 lead, but a 3-pointer from Skyler Halford at 17:07 put the Cougars in front 5-4 and BYU never trailed after that.
A three and a layup by Brownridge pulled the Broncos within seven at 26-19 with 7:41 left, but BYU used nine points from Matt Carlino and went on a 19-2 run over the next 5:06 to take a 45-21 lead with just under two and a half to play in the first.
Brownridge's buzzer-beating three at the end of the half capped a 9-2 Bronco spurt and brought them within 47-30 at the break.
Starting the second half, Haws made his presence felt immediately. His first points came on a layup inside just 10 seconds in for a 49-30 advantage. He added a pair of free throws and drained a jumper pushing the Cougars lead to 58-36 at 14:38.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Denzel Johnson and Nate Kratch ignited a 12-0 Bronco run that also included a pair of layups from Robert Garrett, and pulled SCU within 10 at 58-48 with still over 10 minutes left in the game.
The crowd was quickly taken out of the game when Collinsworth sank a pair of free throws to start a 9-0 BYU run that extended the lead back up 19 at 67-48 with 8:23 left.
The Broncos had one last run left in them, however.
Down 80-60 after a Haws dunk with 4:42 left, Brownridge hit a jumper and a pair of free throws, Clark added a layup and Kratch hit two free throws to pull within 12 at 80-68 with just under three minutes left
NOTES: The Broncos started Brandon Clark, Jalen Richard, Jared Brownridge, Yannick Atanga and Jerry Brown ... John McArthur and Evan Roquemore did not play tonight for failure to uphold academic responsibilities. McArthur was on the bench and Roquemore was not at the game due to violation of team rules ... Andrew Papenfus played for the first time in 8 games with two rebounds in a season-high tying 12 minutes ... Robert Garrett made a season-best three field goals (in three tries) and hauled down five rebounds with two blocks in 12 minutes.