SAN DIEGO – The Santa Clara men's basketball team was in need of West Coast Conference road victory and Jared Brownridge helped deliver one with some late-game heroics.
Brownridge scored a game-high 20 points, including the game-winning basket with just more than one minute left, to propel the Broncos to a 59-57 victory over San Diego on Thursday.
KJ Feagin tallied 19 points on 7 of 13 from the field and Matt Hauser, in his first game back from injury, added 10 for the Broncos (9-9, 3-2) who overcame frontcourt foul trouble to claim their sixth win in the last nine games and second victory in eight tries away from home.
Brett Bailey had team highs in points (15) and rebounds (nine) for the Toreros who dropped their fourth contest in last five outings despite shooting 50 percent from the floor.
Bailey, who missed two potential game-tying free throws with 50 seconds left, nearly sent the game to overtime.
Olin Carter III, who had 11 points for San Diego, attempted a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, but was off target due mostly to the pressure defense from Nate Kratch. Bailey rebounded the ball and hit an off-balance shot from about 10 feet away on the right side as the final buzzer sounded. The potential game-tying basket was ruled to come after the buzzer by the officials and confirmed after a video review by the crew.
"I saw the red light go on and I didn't think the shot was off (from Bailey's hand) and obviously as I kept peeking at the console I started to have second thoughts and then really didn't know," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said. "After several minutes of consultation by the officials, I got more concerned, but I hung to the belief that I initially had that it wasn't good."
The Broncos held the lead for the first 30 minutes of the game, but the Toreros stayed close and eventually forged ahead behind Bailey and Carter.
Bailey's 3-point play with 6:42 remaining gave the Toreros a 53-51 lead, their first of the game.
More than a minute later, Carter nailed a 3-pointer to push the lead to three. But Hauser, who missed nearly the entire last two games due to a concussion, later came through with four points on a layup and a pair of free throws to tie it at 57-all.
But San Diego was hurt by turnovers (14) the entire game and missed free throws down the stretch (its last four of the game).
Carter missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:28 left and that set up Brownridge's go-ahead driving layup, which came with 1:07 left and the shot clock running down.
Bailey was fouled on next possession and missed both free throws. Brownridge then had a layup attempt blocked with 26 seconds left, setting up the final sequence.
Emmanuel Ndumanya, Santa Clara's starting center, was relegated to 13 minutes due to foul trouble. He picked up his fourth less than two minutes into the second half. Henrik Jadersten, who played in his spot much of the night, was whistled for his fourth foul with just more than 14 minutes left in the game.
Kratch scored only two points, but had a team-high seven rebounds and two steals, playing the entire 40 minutes. He was the lone forward on the floor at the end of the game.
The Broncos led throughout the opening half, with the advantage growing to 13 with more than three minutes to go. But the Toreros stayed close by nailing nine straight field goals attempts at one point.
Santa Clara tallied 11 of the first 13 points of the game with Brownridge, who had a season-low five in Saturday's loss to LMU, equaling that total in that seven-minute stretch.
Santa Clara ends a stretch of three straight games on the road Saturday when it plays at Pepperdine.
Notes: Tonight's game was the 81st meeting in the series, which began in 1953. Santa Clara leads, 46-35. The Broncos won for the third-straight time against San Diego, though the series was evenly matched in recent years prior to 2015-16 as the teams split a pair of meetings in each of the previous two seasons. Santa Clara captured both meetings in 2012-13 and San Diego won the two the year before. … the Broncos shot 44.9 percent from the floor, improving to 8-2 this year when hitting at least 43 percent from the field … entering tonight's game, Santa Clara was 0-5 on the season when scoring less than 60 points … with a baseline jumper with 13:08 left in the opening half, Brownridge scored his fourth and fifth points of the game, passing Bo Kimble of Loyola Marymount (2,010/1987-90) for 10th on the West Coast Conference career scoring list. Later in the first half (on a 3-pointer), Brownridge passed Jim McPhee of Gonzaga (2,015/1986-90) to reach ninth place. Brownridge (20 points tonight) now has 2,026 in his career … Brownridge also moved from fifth into a tie for third on the WCC's all-time 3-pointers list. He went 5-for-10 in the game and now has 336 to equal Jared Stohl of Portland (2007-11). Brownridge also passed Johnny Dee of San Diego (2011-15) who had 333 … Evan Wardlow saw his first action in nearly a month. He missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury. He played six minutes, all in the second half.
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