On a rainy Thursday night in San Diego, SCU rallied from 14 down in the second half (18:06) to cut the Toreros' lead to three twice in the final 23 seconds. USD made two sets of free throws to finish off the game and won 69-64 in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
A 5-2 run gave USD a 10 point lead, 54-44, with 5:06 left in the game. A three point play by Jared Brownridge with 1:59 left cut the lead to nine, but Jito Kok dunked it home at 1:44 to make the lead 10 again. Denzel Johnson added a three from the corner with 38 seconds left.
The game wasn't over yet as Brandon Clark hit a triple from the corner with 26.7 seconds left and Brownridge scored inside to cut the lead to three. Johnny Dee collected a pair of free throws and then Brownridge did the same with 9.8 seconds left. A half second late, Thomas Jacobs scored two from the free throw line to ice the game for USD.
Santa Clara is 11-11 and 5-5 in the WCC. San Diego is 11-11 and 4-6 in the WCC.
Santa Clara shot 34.5 percent from the field (19 of 55), including 28.6 percent from beyond the arc (6 of 21). The Broncos added 66.7 percent from the foul line (20 of 30). They collected 36 rebounds, nine assists, six steals, three blocks and nine turnovers.
The Broncos were led individually by Brandon Clark, who became the 15th player in school history to score 1,400 career points. He scored 22 points, including 7-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, and four rebounds and four assists. It was his ninth game this year with 20+ and the 22nd time in the last two years that he has finished with those figures. He now has 1,400 career points, jumping up three spots on the Santa Clara all-time scoring list tonight.
Nate Kratch had nine points and nine boards. Jared Brownridge scored 13 points and grabbed six boards.
USD shot 51.2 percent from the field (21 of 41), including 70.0 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 10). The Toreros added 80.0 percent from the foul line (20 of 25). They collected 31 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, six blocks and 14 turnovers.
Vasa Pusica led USD with 16 points. Leading scorer Johnny Dee added 11. Chris Sarbaugh and Simi Fejemisin had a team-high five boards.
The Broncos trailed by 10 at the half, 32-22. To open the second half USD kept scoring, taking a 14 point lead, 37-23, on a free throw by Perry at 16:52. Clark cut the lead to 12 with his second pair of free throws. Brownridge scored his first basket at 15:40 and then added a three at 14:19 to cut the lead to seven, 39-32.
Pusica scored a three at 13:11 to make the lead double-digits again, but Emmanuel Ndumanya danced in the lane for two.
In the next couple of minutes, Kratch scored back-to-back baskets between a layup by Pusica, to cut the lead to seven, and a minute later Ndumanya scored inside to cut it to seven again after a pair of USD free throws.
Anderson struck first blood for USD with a three at 19:11 in the first half. The Broncos didn't score their first basket until 16:12 when Clark scored inside, but Hubbard hit a couple of free throws at 17:03. A triple by Clark tied it up and when Hubbard scored on a dandy dish by Evan Wardlow, the Broncos took their first lead of the night.
After a USD triple at 14:17, Clark's jumper a minute later got back the lead for the Broncos. USD's 8-3 run, which included a three by Denzel Johnson, made it 20-14 at 8:06.
Two free throws by Jarvis Pugh at 5:28 were followed by a pair by Clark at 4:02, but in the meantime USD scored five more to take a 25-18 lead at 3:45. The Broncos hit two of their last 14 shots in the final minutes of the first half and trailed USD by 10 at the halftime.
NOTES: Starters for the Broncos (career starts): Brandon Clark (59), Nate Kratch (15), Denzel Johnson (33), Jared Brownridge (55) and Matt Hubbard (20) … With 22 points, Clark moved up three spots on the career points scored list, passing No. 17 Travis Niesen (1,380, 2002-06), No. 16 Mike Gervasoni (1,393, 1964-67) and No. 15 Nick Vanos (1,399, 1981-85).