Leading from wire to wire, with Denzel Johnson opening the game on with a 5-0 run, Santa Clara won 57-40 at Pacific on Monday night. Santa Clara returns home to open West Coast Conference play this season vs. BYU on Thurs., Jan. 1 at 2 pm. The game will be televised nationally on BYUTV.
Santa Clara is 6-7 and 1-1 in the WCC. Pacific is 8-6 and 0-2 in the WCC.
The Broncos shot 48.8 percent from the field (21 of 43), including 45.0 percent from beyond the arc (9 of 20). The Broncos added 75.0 percent from the foul line (6 of 8). They collected 34 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals, four blocks and 14 turnovers.
Matt Hubbard scored a career-high 15 points and was three of three from beyond the arc. Jared Brownridge scored 14, including 4 of 6 from the three. He added eight rebounds. Denzel Johnson had 10. In his first start this year, Nate Kratch had a career-high 11 rebounds. Brandon Clark scored nine, tying a career high with seven boards and six assists.
Pacific shot 28.9 percent from the field (13 of 45), including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 15). The Tigers added 47.1 percent from the foul line (8 of 17). They collected 24 rebounds, eight assists, five steals, two blocks and eight turnovers.
Alex Kobre had 11 points for the Tigers and Eric Thompson added a team-high four rebounds.
After taking a 28-18 lead to the lockers at halftime, Johnson opened the second half with a three. Hubbard added baskets inside and then outside to make the lead 36-19 at 17:25. Kobre scored UOP's first basket in seven and a half minutes, dating back to the first half, on a three at 17:01.
With only one Bronco field goal in more than seven minutes, Clark inside at 13:16, Brownridge crushed a three at 10:24 to put SCU up 11, 41-31. Brownridge and Clark added floaters in the next couple of minutes.
Brownridge crushed his third three to make the lead 15 at 6:56, 48-33. He hit his fourth three off balance as the shot clock wound down at 5:51. Without a free throw until 3:03, Santa Clara made its first five to finish the game.
Holding UOP scoreless the final 4:33 of the first half, the Broncos took a 28-18 lead into the lockerroom. The Broncos opened the game scoring in five-point spurts. Johnson started with a three and a five-foot jumper. Kobre's basket was followed by a three-footer by Hubbard and then a three by Brownridge to put SCU up 10-3 at 16:22. After Wallace scored inside, Hubbard crushed a three from the corner, but Kobre matched it.
Kratch scored a put-back at 14:55 and Hubbard knocked down his second three to make the Bronco lead 10, 18-8, at 14:14. Robinson's attempt bounced high off the rim, but fell in for a three at 13:18.
Showing an inside presence in his second game back after missing nine straight games, Emmanuel Ndumanya scored inside twice in less than a minute, making the Bronco lead 11.
UOP's 6-2 run was cut short by a floater by Clark at 3:16 and a 10-footer by Johnson at 1:22 to put SCU up by 11 again.