Opening the Orlando Classic with the 2014 Sweet 16 NCAA tournament contender, Tennessee, Santa Clara only trailed by four in the final 53 seconds, but lost 64-57 in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday. Santa Clara will play Rhode Island at 11:30 am Pacific on ESPNU. SCU is 2-3 and Tennessee is 2-1.
Santa Clara shot 40.5 percent from the field (15-37), including 37.5 percent from beyond the arc (6-16). SCU collected 25 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks, six steals and shot 72.4 percent from the free throw line (21-29).
Santa Clara was led by Brandon Clark who scored 21 points on 6-19 shooting. Jared Brownridge scored 12 points to go with four rebounds and two assists while Denzel Johnson scored 11 on 6-8 shooting from the free throw line with four rebounds and two assists.
UT shot 45.1 percent from the field (23-51), including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc (2-11). UT collected 34 rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and shot 69.6 percent from the free throw line (16-23).
UT was led by Josh Richardson and Armani Moore who each scored 18 points. Richardson was 7-16 from the floor and 2-3 from deep. Moore was 4-8 from the field and 10-12 from the free throw line with six rebounds and three assists.
To start the game, Brownridge crushed his first two threes from opposites of the elbow. Johnson hit his first at 15:02 to put SCU up 9-6. Clark got in on the party and hit one from the corner at 13:53 to make the lead 12-6.
After Richardson scored inside, Brownridge was fouled in transition and hit both from the line at 13:09. Moore's jumper at 12:50 pulled UT within four. Jarvis Pugh scored and after McGhee stole the ball, Kevin Punter laid it in at 8:48 to cut the SCU lead to two.
Johnson made a pair of free throws at 8:45. He then stole the inbounds, and was fouled by Detrick Mostella three seconds later. He scored the second one to make it 19-14. UT scored a pair of jumpers and then Hubbard added two free throws at 6:33, 21-18.
Johnson was hacked and sank both at 5:41, 23-18 Broncos. Robert Hubbs III dunked it at 4:52, but Clark responded with a three from the corner again, 26-20 SCU, at 4:27. It was Broncos' first field goal since 10:12, but they had made seven free throws during that span.
After Clark hit a free throw, the Broncos turned it over four times in the next 1:38, but Clark calmed the offense down with a floater at 1:05 to make the Bronco lead four, 29-25. Moore hit a pair of free throws with 42.1 seconds left. Clark scored one from the line with 26.9 seconds left in the half and the Broncos led 30-27.
The opened the second half with a 12-0 run. Richardson hit a jumper and then hit a three at 16:56 to give the Vols their first lead since they led 4-3 early in the first half.
The Broncos struggled offensively in the second half and didn't score their first basket until Brownridge scored in the lane at 10:23 (last FG was at 1:05 in the first half). He was fouled less than a minute later by Mostella and sank both to make it 41-34 UT at 9:50.
After Jabari McGhee dunked it at 9:38, Hubbard was fouled going to the hoop and he converted on both at 9:24, 43-36 Vols.
Dominic Woodson and Hubbard matched each other in the lane, but after a couple of Bronco misses, a three and a pair of free throws by Richardson gave UT a 14-point lead at 6:34.
Johnson and Kratch scored back-to-back in the lane to halt UT's 7-0 run. Clark added a pair of free throws at 4:40. After Johnson stole the ball, he rolled it to Clark who scored a layup under the basket at 4:14 to cut the lead to seven, 53-46 Vols.
Given a chance to score with the clock stopped, Clark was two of four from the free throw line in the next minute. The Vols led 57-50 at 1:09 in the second half.
Kai Healy sank a huge three with 53 seconds left and SCU only trailed by four, 59-55. Denzel Johnson added a free throw to cut the lead to 61-56. After Johnson's second attempt, Clark's dash to the basket was short and Brownridge was forced to foul with 17 seconds left and the Vols iced the game with a four free throws in the final 17 seconds.
Game notes: Santa Clara started Brandon Clark, Jared Brownridge, Denzel Johnson, Evan Wardlow and Matt Hubbard. It was Wardlow's first career start … 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.