Playing a short-handed Santa Clara squad with a lot of heart, No. 20 Michigan State got out of the gate on a 17-2 run and didn't look back often as the Spartans won 79-52 at the Breslin Center Monday night in East Lansing, Mich.
SCU is 2-2 and No. 20 Michigan State is 3-1. Santa Clara will play its first game of the Orlando Classic in Orlando, Fla., vs. Tennessee at 9 am Pacific on Thurs., Nov. 27. The Thanksgiving Day game will be shown live on ESPN2.
"We have to understand it's a learning experience without missing any details. We got punched in the gut and missed a lot of easy shots. All the credit to them with BJ Dawson out. It speaks volumes about how good they can be with him in there," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating.
Santa Clara shot 29.0 percent from the field (18-62), including 22.7 percent from beyond the arc (5-22). SCU collected 34 rebounds, six assists, three blocks, six steals and shot 91.7 percent from the free throw line (11-12).
Santa Clara was led by last year's leading scorer, Jared Brownridge. Brownridge scored 12 points. Denzel Johnson added nine points with six boards. Leading scorer Brandon Clark was 2-13 from the field, scoring nine points. Kai Healy scored four points and added three rebounds in his debut as it was announced pregame he would not redshirt this season.
When asked about Brownridge and Clark tonight. "I don't know if it was as much as what Michigan State did, as what we didn't do (Brownridge and Clark). There is an adjustment that both of them are making, being in the position they are in, after what they accomplished last year (top scoring backcourt in the WCC). They were not highly recruited, but they have both really developed. Jared will be the focal point of 29 or 30 scouting reports and Brandon is not different. They need to establish themselves with their new teammates as well; and they will get better every game."
Michigan State shot 43.9 percent from the field (29-66), including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc (12-30). MSU collected 52 rebounds, 22 assists, 10 blocks, four steals and shot 52.9 percent from the free throw line (9-17).
Five Spartans scored in double figures: Travis Trice (19), Marvin Clark, Jr. (15), Gavin Schilling (14), Denzel Valentine (13), and Bryn Forbes (10). Valentine and Schilling both had 11 rebounds to record double-doubles. Trice added eight assists while Clark Jr. had four blocks.
How good is Michigan State's fastbreak? "We see that in our league with Gonzaga and BYU. Stops help with that. We took a few bad shots – that's typical of a young team. We weren't able to convert at the free throw line until the second half. Marvin Clark gives them a pretty good dynamic at that four spot and he is shooting the ball really well. Anytime you have shooters like Travis Trice and Bryn Forbes in the game, they have weapons and tools."
MSU started the game on a 17-2 run with a basket inside by Pugh at 18:31. Brownridge sank a pair of free throws at 12:56. Kai Healy, in his first attempt as a Bronco, scored on a left-handed reverse under the basket at 12:11.
Trice nailed a three at 9:16 as the Spartans led 24-6 and SCU called for time again. After M. Clark dunked it, B. Clark hit a three at 8:35. Edwards scored in the lane at 7:42.
Valentine scored from 13 feet out at 5:45 to make the lead 19, 30-11. Jarvis Pugh sank a three at 3:46, but Trice answered at 3:43.
The Broncos trailed 40-14 at the half. Pugh led the team with five points in the first half and four Broncos had three rebounds each.
The Broncos opened the second half with a pair of free throws by Brownridge. Johnson then took over for the Broncos a bit and scored seven straight for SCU. He scored a lay-up at 18:48 and stole an inbounds pass to score another layup at 18:25. He added a three at 17:30 and the Broncos trailed by 19.
MSU then went on an 11-0 run. The Broncos were held scoreless for almost six minutes when Brownridge scored a layup at 11:42. After a three by Trice, Stephen Edwards, playing the point, quickly scored inside at 11:07. MSU led by 29, 56-27.
Clark scored a pair of free throws at 4:37. Brownridge buried back-to-back threes at 3:46 and 3:19, respectively on assists by Clark. MSU called for a quick 30, leading 74-47.
Healy made both of his free throw attempts, his first in college, and Edwards made his second with couple of minutes to play. Edwards scored to make it 79-52 as the final.
Game notes: Santa Clara started Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, Denzel Johnson, Jarvis Pugh and Matt Hubbard … Senior forward Yannick Atanga (6-8, 225) is out with a knee injury … Redshirt-freshman Emmanual Ndumanya (6-9, 270) is out with a left foot injury … Kai Healy will not redshirt this season and scored on his first attempt at 12:11.