SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Kai Healy gave the Broncos a spark with a career-high 12 points and Jared Brownridge added a game-high 19 points but it wasn't enough to overcome hot-shooting Cal Poly and Santa Clara fell to the Mustangs 69-58 in the final game of the 48th annual Cable Car Classic.
The Broncos dropped to 5-6 on the season and will open up West Coast Conference play next with a game at Saint Mary's on Saturday. Cal Poly won both Cable Car Classic games and moves to 6-5.
Healy hit 5 of 8 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc for his career-high point total while Brownridge hit 5 of 11 three-pointers. Brandon Clark reached double-figures for the ninth time this season and 56th career with 11.
The Broncos shot 37.3 percent from the field (19 of 51), including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 26). The Broncos added 75 percent from the foul line (12 of 16). They corralled 26 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals, 0 blocks and 11 turnovers.
Cal Poly shot 48.1 percent from the field (25 of 52), including 53.3 percent from deep (8 of 15). From the foul line, they shot 73.3 percent (11 of 15). They tallied 36 rebounds, 17 assists, 7 steals, 6 blocks and 13 turnovers.
The Mustangs were led by Reese Morgan and Ridge Shipley, who each scored 11 points while David Nwaba added 10.
The Broncos were able to close within four points on three separate occasions in the second half, the last when Healy nailed a three from the wing as the shot clock expired to make the score 44-40 with 14:33 left.
Cal Poly used a 7-0 run over the next three minutes to take a double-digit lead for the first time. Joel Awich hit a pair of free throws, Aleks Abrams had a put back in the lane and Michael Bolden hit a three for a 51-41 Mustangs lead with 11:15 remaining.
After Healy's second three-pointer got the Broncos within 53-45 at the 10:06 mark, Santa Clara would make just one field goal over the next nine and a half minutes and fall behind by as many as 12.
Brownridge hit a triple from the top of the key with 41 seconds left to close the gap to seven at 65-58, but Morgan hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Cal Poly got off to fast start hitting its first four baskets and used a 7-0 run to take a 12-4 lead at 14:40.
Nate Kratch sparked a 7-0 Santa Clara run over the next 63 seconds with a bucket down low, Kai Healy followed with a reverse layup and Brownridge hit his first triple of the game to pull the Broncos within one at 12-11.
After being down by as many as eight points in the first half the Broncos kept chipping away to take their first lead of the game. Kratch pulled the Broncos within one on a put back off an offensive rebound and Brownridge hit a pair of free throws the next time down to give Santa Clara a 17-16 advantage at 11:01.
Shipley drained a corner three to put the Mustangs back on top but Brownridge followed with back-to-back triples staking the Broncos to their largest lead of the half at 23-19 with 8:56 left.
Awich capped a baseline drive with a dunk igniting a 14-3 Cal Poly run that gave the Mustangs a 33-26 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Shipley hit a pair of threes during the run and was a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Clark scored his first points of the half to get the Broncos within 33-28 at the 1:44 mark but Morgan countered with another three for the Mustangs. Clark connected on a jumper and Healy had a put back off Brownridge's miss at the buzzer sending the Broncos into the half down 38-32.
NOTES: Starters for the Broncos (career starts): Brandon Clark (48), Jarvis Pugh (9), Denzel Johnson (22), Jared Brownridge (44), Matt Hubbard (9) … Evan Wardlow attempted his first free throws of the season making both at 8:43 of the second half … Brownridge tied his season-high with 11 3-pointer attempted … Denzel Johnson tied his season high playing 36 minutes.