Las Vegas, Nev. – Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge each scored 19 points to lead the Santa Clara Broncos to an 85-54 win over LMU in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament Friday night at the Orleans Arena. Santa Clara advances to play BYU on ESPN2 tomorrow night at 8 pm. The game will also be broadcast live on KDOW 1220 AM with David Gentile making the call.
Santa Clara improves to 14-17 on the season while LMU ends the year 8-23.
Santa Clara shot 55 percent from the floor (33 of 60), including 52.9 percent from three-point land (9 of 17). The Broncos added 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10 of 12). They collected 38 rebounds, dished out 17 assists and added 11 steals, 1 block and 9 turnovers.
Jarvis Pugh scored a career-high 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting with seven rebounds and six assists, joining Clark, who hit 7 of 14 from the field, and Brownridge, who drained five triples, in double-figures. Denzel Johnson, Nate Kratch and Matt Hubbard each added eight points for the Broncos.
LMU shot 35.3 percent from the floor (18 of 51), including 28.6 percent from three-point land (4 of 14). The Lions added 70 percent from the free throw line (14 of 20). They collected 26 rebounds, dished out 9 assists and added 3 steals, 6 blocks and 15 turnovers.
Evan Payne dropped in a game-high 29 points with nine rebounds and Ayodeji Egbyemi added 14 points.
SCU led by 14 at halftime, 36-22. Clark started the second half with a runner in the lane at 19:45, giving the Broncos a 16-point lead, 38-22.
LMU's 7-2 run cut it to 11 at 18:15. Brownridge and Clark buried threes and SCU led by 14, but Payne matched them at 15:50 as SCU led by 11, 48-37.
A putback by Brownridge and then Johnson made it look easy to put SCU up by 19, 59-40, at 11:18.
A dandy move in the air by Matt Hubbard gave SCU a 21-point lead, 63-42, with 9:46 left. Johnson's jumper put SCU up 23, 67-44, at 8:19. A smooth move by Kratch to the basket made the lead 26, 73-47, at 6:08.
Santa Clara closed it out in the final two minutes with Dominic Romeo, Andrew Papenfus, Kai Healy and Jalen Richard checking in. Papenfus scored his first three of the year at 1:13. He is coming back from brain surgery on Oct. 6, 2014.
Brownridge started the Broncos quickly with a three from the corner.
He picked up an assist on a monster dunk by Pugh. Pugh then picked up an assist on the second three by Brownridge at 17:49. LMU called for time with SCU up 8-2.
Clark crushed a three from the corner and then pushed in a floater to make the lead 14 when Mike Dunlap called for the second timeout of the first half at 13:54.
After the Broncos hot start, LMU's 7-0 run cut the lead to seven at 9:23 as the Broncos were held scoreless for 5:35. A nice pass by Clark to Pugh cut the run and Pugh scored on the next possession to make it double digits again, 11, at 8:12.
Ndumanya's dunk at 6:47, his first-ever as a Bronco, pushed it to 10 again after Payne scored a three at 7:21.
Pugh scored his eighth point and SCU led by 11 again, 31-20, at 2:15. Clark hit a three from the corner and SCU led by 12, 34-22, at 1:35.
Matt Hubbard's pair of free throws at 20.4 made the halftime lead 14, 36-22. Clark had 10 at the half and Pugh had eight. Payne had 13.
NOTES: Santa Clara starters: Brandon Clark (67), Jared Brownridge (63), Denzel Johnson (40), Nate Kratch (22) and Jarvis Pugh (13) ... Pugh scored a career-high 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting ... Johnson had his streak of four straight double-digit scoring games end ... Kratch was a perfect 4 of 4 from the field scoring 8 points ... Brownridge made five three-pointers for his 11th career game with five or more ... all 13 Santa Clara players saw action in the game with nine recording at least one point.