SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Nate Kratch and Matt Hubbard each scored a career-high and five Santa Clara players reached double figures, but the Broncos couldn't cool off the hot-shooting Northeastern Huskies and dropped its first game of the 48th annual Cable Car Classic 78-72 on Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center.
The Broncos saw their three-game winning streak come to and end and fell to 5-5. Northeastern bounced back from its first game Cable Car Classic loss to Cal Poly and improved to 7-3. The Broncos host Cal Poly at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the final game of this year's Cable Car Classic.
Kratch scored 15 points hitting 4 of 6 field goals and 7-10 free throws with eight rebounds while Hubbard scored 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting with a career-best nine rebounds.
Jared Brownridge saw his streak of 20-point games stopped at three, but did score 18 hitting 3 of 5 threes. Denzel Johnson dropped in 13 and Brandon Clark added 10 giving Santa Clara five double-digit scorers for the first time since Feb. 2, 2013 at BYU.
The Broncos shot 44.1 percent from the field (26 of 59), including 35.7 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 19). The Broncos added 78.9 percent from the foul line (15 of 19). They corralled 29 rebounds, 16 assists, 7 steals, 1 block and 8 turnovers.
Northeastern shot 58.7 percent from the field (27 of 46), including 50 percent from deep (11 of 22). From the foul line, they shot 61.9 percent (13 of 21). They tallied 29 rebounds, 16 assists, 4 steals, 7 blocks and 14 turnovers.
Scott Eatherton led the Huskies with a double-double scoring 20 points with 10 rebounds and adding four blocks. David Walker added 16 making 5 of 10 three point shots. Quincy Ford scored 12, T.J. Williams had 11 and Caleb Donnelly had 13 as the Huskies also had five players reach double figures.
The Broncos trailed by nine at halftime and the teams swapped buckets for the first six and a half minutes of the second half. Still down nine at 56-47, the Broncos used an 11-4 run to close within two at 60-58 with 9:17 left. But the Broncos would not be able to overcome the torrid Huskies.
Santa Clara's runs were thwarted by Northeastern who got a pair three pointers from Walker, one from Donnelly and seven free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Broncos' tight defense led to a fast start and a quick 6-0 lead after Hubbard drained a pair of threes just 67 seconds in.
A triple by Ford pulled Northeastern with 8-7 at the 16:15 mark, but Johnson responded with a conventional three-point play putting the Broncos back on top by four at 11-7.
But the Broncos would go cold for nearly four minutes and watch the Huskies reel off the next nine points to take their first lead of the game and would never relinquish the advantage
Northeastern used its size advantage with Williams, Zach Stall, Reggie Spencer and Eatherton all scoring down low during the run giving the Huskies a 16-11 lead at the 13:12 mark.
A Hubbard layup off a fancy assist from Clark ended the run but the Huskies rattled off the next four to go up 20-13 at 11:16.
Clark scored his first basket of the game and 1,200th point of his career with a mid-range jumper pulling the Broncos within 23-17 at the 8:58 mark.
The Huskies shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the field and 63.6 from beyond the arc in the first half and took their first double-digit lead of the game at 34-24 with 5:02 left in the first half.
After falling behind by 13 the Broncos went on a 7-2 run to close out the half. Brownridge scored on a reverse layup and drained a three from the top of the key with 12 seconds left closing the gap to 42-33 at the break.
NOTES: Starters for the Broncos (career starts): Brandon Clark (47), Jarvis Pugh (8), Denzel Johnson (21), Jared Brownridge (43), Matt Hubbard (8) … Brownridge made his first free throw of the game extending his streak of consecutive makes to 22 before missing his next attempt. He personal best streak is 24 straight … Brownridge also made his 125th career three-point basket … Kratch made and attempted career-highs in free throws going 7 of 10 ... Denzel Johnson registered career-highs with 6 assists and 4 steals.