Los Angeles, Calif. – Short-handed, the Lions battled within two points with 36 seconds left, but SCU finished the game off by making five of six free throws to beat LMU 70-63 on Saturday in Los Angeles. Jared Brownridge led the Broncos with 28 points and is now just seven points from 1,000 career points.
Santa Clara moves to 12-16 overall, 6-10 in the WCC while LMU falls to 8-21 and 4-13 in the WCC. SCU swept the season series for the first time since 2011.
Matt Hayes made his sixth three of the day and Godwin Okonji dunked it with 50 seconds left as the Lions cut the Bronco lead to four, 64-60. Jalen Richard made a free throw to push it to five again, but Okonji followed by converting on a three-point play as SCU led by just two, 65-63, with 36 seconds left.
Brandon Clark was fouled with 36.7 seconds left and he sank both attempts. After David Humphries missed a wide-open three, Brownridge was fouled with 12 seconds left and he sank both to give the Broncos a six-point cushion, 69-63.
Santa Clara shot 48.9 percent from the field (23 of 47), including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 21). The Broncos added 84.2 percent from the foul line (16 of 19). They collected 34 rebounds, 16 assists, eight steals, two blocks and had 15 turnovers.
Brownridge scored 28 points with three assists and two steals. Brownridge has scored 20+ points 20 times in his career and double figures 50 times in his 61-game career. He now has had five games with 6+ threes.
LMU shot 35.4 percent from the field (17 of 48), including 38.5 percent from beyond the arc (10 of 26). The Lions added 70.4 percent from the foul line (19 of 27). They collected 29 rebounds, 16 assists, eight steals, two blocks and had 13 turnovers.
Hayes finished with 20 points, including six threes. Okonji had 15 points with five boards. Humphries had 16 with four assists. Marin Mornar had eight boards.
With SCU leading 35-21 at halftime, Hayes opened the second half with a three at 19:30. Pugh and Johnson (a three), scored next, making it 16 again, 40-26, at 18:27.
After Hayes scored his second three of the second half, Clark scored back-to-back Bronco baskets, 44-32, at 16:28.
Humphries stole the ball from Clark and crushed a three to cut the Bronco lead to nine, 46-37, at 14:12. Johnson's floater at 10:07 was followed by another three by Humphries at 9:45, cutting the Broncos lead to seven, 52-45. Johnson added his 10th point at 8:58, but Marin Mornar hit a three to cut the lead to six, 54-48, at 8:46.
Clark hit a floater in the lane and Pugh scored on a sweet pass under the basket at 5:25 to give SCU a 10-point lead again, 58-48. LMU kept hanging around, with Hayes hitting his fifth three of the game, at 5:16.
In the next four minutes - Johnson, Okonji, Brownridge, Chase Flint and Clark all hit pairs of free throws with SCU leading 64-55 at 1:08.
After Pugh's basket inside, Brownridge sank three straight triples to spark the offense early in the game. Stealing it, Pugh laid it in on a fancy pass from Clark to make it 13-4 SCU at 15:30. Brownridge hit his fourth three at 14:21 and SCU led 16-4 at 14:21.
Johnson's three from the corner made it 19-5 at 12:09 and in the first eight minutes, SCU was 5 of 8 beyond the arc.
Brownridge sank his fifth three at 9:10, making it 22-9. Hayes matched him beyond the arc. Hubbard and Kratch scored inside after a pair of Okonji free throws, 26-14, SCU at 5:00.
Brownridge was six of six beyond the arc when he hit another at 4:01, putting SCU up by 15, 29-14. Pugh and Brownridge scored inside to end the first half with the Broncos leading by 14, 35-21. Brownridge had 22 points in the first half.