SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Brandon Clark scored a game-high 21 points with a career-high 9 assists and Santa Clara broke loose from a tie game at the half to defeat San Diego Christian 70-58 on Saturday night at the Leavey Center for its third straight 2-0 start. Santa Clara returns to action on Nov. 19 facing the Utah State Aggies in Logan, Utah.
The Broncos shot 54.9 percent from the field (28 of 51), including 37.5 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 16). The Broncos added 47.1 percent from the foul line (8 of 17). They corralled 32 rebounds, 12 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks and 8 turnovers.
San Diego Christian shot 38.3 percent from the field (23 of 60), including 42.9 percent from deep (9 of 21). From the foul line, they shot 37.5 percent (3 of 8). They tallied 36 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and 10 turnovers.
The Broncos opened the second half with six straight points to break a 29-29 tie. Brownridge hit a layup 24 seconds in, Pugh had a dunk off a Brownridge assist and Denzel Johnson connected down low giving the Broncos a 33-29 advantage after just 69 seconds of the half.
The Hawks pulled within one at 37-36 on consecutive baskets from Peter Beale-Wirsing, who finished with a double-double scoring 20 points with 14 rebounds.
A 13-2 run by the Broncos over a 2 ½ minute stretch essentially put the game away. Johnson made one of two free throws, Brownridge hit a three and Clark's layup moved the lead to nine at 51-41.
Shayne Travers hit a layup for San Diego Christian to end the 6-0 run, but Clark responded with a baseline jumper, Johnson hit a put back following his offensive rebound, Emmanuel Ndumanya hit a short turnaround bank shot and Johnson hit another free throw giving the Broncos their biggest lead of the game at 57-43 with just over eight minutes left.
The Hawks could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The tightly contested first half saw the game tied seven times with six lead changes.
The scrappy Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a Derrick Thompson triple 35 seconds in to the game. Pugh responded scoring the Broncos' first bucket for the second straight night on a putback in the lane but Rafeal Rodriguez drained a three from the corner giving the Hawks a 6-2 lead.
Brownridge hit a three and layup to pull the Broncos within 8-7 at the 17:10 mark, but Daniel Nielsen countered with another Hawks' three-pointer.
Nate Kratch and Ndumanya scored down low on consecutive possessions to knot the game at 11-11. It was the first of seven ties through the opening 20 minutes.
A Clark three followed by a Kratch layup gave the Broncos their first lead of the game at 16-14 with 11:16 left.
Trailing 22-20, Stephen Edwards hit a mid range jumper and Brownridge followed with his second three pointer of the game to give Santa Clara its largest lead of the half at three, 25-22, with 3:11 left.
Beale-Wirsing hit consecutive buckets as the Hawks retook the lead at 26-25 with 2:18 remaining. Nielsen hit his second three of the half with just under two minutes left for a 29-27 lead, but Clark scored on a driving layup following a Johnson steal to tie the game, 29-29, at the half.