SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Similar to Gonzaga's previous 17 opponents this season, Santa Clara men's basketball was unable to solve the balanced offense and strong halfcourt defense of the fourth-ranked Bulldogs who used a second-half run to pull away from the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten team in NCAA Division I.
Przemek Karnowski scored 19 points and Johnathan Williams added 10 with eight rebounds to lead Gonzaga to an 88-57 victory against Santa Clara Thursday in sold out Leavey Center.
Nigel Williams-Goss had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Zach Collins came off the bench to score 16 for the Bulldogs (18-0, 6-0) who connected on 52 percent from the floor.
Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 23 points and KJ Feagin chipped in 13, but the Broncos (10-10, 4-3) shot only 37 percent from the field and were out-rebounded 42-23.
After trailing by as many as 20 in the opening 20 minutes, Brownridge ignited a rally to cut the deficit to 52-41 with seven minutes gone in the second half.
The senior guard, who was 8-for-16 from the floor, started a 9-1 run with jumper and 3-pointer.
But Karnowski answered by scoring six of Gonzaga's next 10 points, all off touches in the paint where the Bulldogs held a 47-16 scoring advantage in the game.
"They are a really talented group, they have all the pieces, inside and outside, they have really good guard play, great size and strength," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said.
Karnowski's layup with 9:23 left pushed the lead to 63-42. The Broncos were able to cut it below 20 just once the remainder of the night.
Nate Kratch (two points) and Matt Hauser (five), who both average double-figure scoring, were held in check. Kratch had a team-high eight rebounds, but also four fouls. Starting center Emmanuel Ndumanya was whistled for five in his 25 minutes.
"Fouls have always been a problem for us, with all that being said we have a wide open top of the key three to cut it to 10 and it doesn't go and to your point here we go marching to the foul line at the other end," Sendek said.
The Bulldogs were 22 of 28 from the free-throw line in the game. Karnowski was 7-for-9, but it was his work inside, especially early in the game, that paid dividends.
Gonzaga scored 14 of its first 19 points of the game in the paint with Karnowski establishing a presence down low with three buckets in the first five minutes.
The Bulldogs went on a 13-0 run to build a 32-12 lead, fueled by their defense which forced the Broncos into nine straight misses from the field midway through the first half.
Brownridge was 6-for-12 from behind the 3-point line, but the rest of the team was just 3 of 13.
Santa Clara has less than 48 hours to bounce back to continue the four-game homestand that opened with the Bulldogs. The Broncos face LMU at 1 p.m. Saturday in Leavey Center.
Notes: This evening's game, played before a sold-out crowd of 4,738, was the 87th meeting in a series that began in 1946. The Bulldogs, who now hold a 57-30 series lead, have won the last 13 meetings. Santa Clara's last win occurred on Jan. 20, 2011, when the Broncos downed the Bulldogs, 85-71, in Leavey Center … Brownridge (2,079) passed Forrest McKenzie of LMU (2,060/1981-86) to reach seventh place on the WCC career scoring list. Brownridge (1,098) also moved to third on the career scoring list for league games, passing Anthony Ireland of LMU (1,080/2010-14) … Santa Clara tied its season-low in first half points with 22 ... for the fourth time this season, Brownridge made four 3-pointers in the first half ... Brownridge knocked down six 3-pointers, marking the sixth time this season he has made at least that many in a game ... Feagin recorded seven assists, tying his season high for the third time on the year ... Feagin also scored 13 points, reaching double figures for the 21st time in his last 30 games ... Gonzaga finished the game with six turnovers, its lowest total of the season.
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