Men’s Basketball Holds Off Late Rally, Downs Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 72-57

Matt Hauser shooting a three.
Matt Hauser shooting a three.

AUDIO: Halftime Interview with Caruso

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Another impressive performance behind the 3-point line helped send Santa Clara men's basketball to its second win in a three-day span.

Matt Hauser scored a career- and game-high 21 points on shooting 7-for-10 from behind the 3-point line and KJ Feagin added 19 to lead four players in double figures for the Broncos who held off a late to rally to post a 72-57 victory over University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Saturday.

Henry Caruso posted 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Josip Vrankic scored 10 for the Broncos (3-5) who shot 48 percent from the floor, including 12-for-26 from beyond the 3-point line.

Martaveous McKnight registered a team-high 18 points and Trent Steen added 14 for the Golden Lions (0-9) who shot 57 percent from the floor, but turned the ball over 20 times.

The Broncos, who downed Northern Arizona, 89-57 on Thursday by hitting 17 3-pointers, led by many as 24 in the second half, but had to hold on down the stretch.

Five points from Charles Jackson and four from Steen fueled a 14-0 run that cut the deficit to 66-57 with 2:00 left, but the Broncos were able to hit all six free throws in the final 1:34 and the Golden Lions missed their only field-goal attempt down the stretch.

Christian Roberts' jumper cut the deficit to 38-27 early in the second half, but the Broncos scored 11 of the next 12 points with Hauser nailing a 3-pointer and Caruso tallying five straight points.

Hauser got the offense rolling by connecting on his first four shots, all 3-pointers, to help the Broncos build a 14-8 lead.

After the Golden Lions scored the next five, Feagin found his rhythm, scoring eight straight points, part of an 18-2 run that pushed the lead to 32-15 with four minutes left in the opening half.

Hauser (12) and Feagin (10) combined for first 22 Santa Clara points in the game.

"Matt really got going, think he had a great game," head coach Herb Sendek said. "Both guys (KJ and Matt) were shooting the ball really well."

The Broncos suffered nine of their 15 turnovers in the second half when they allowed the Arkansas-Pine Bluff to shoot 61 percent from the field.

Santa Clara posted a season-high 12 steals, including a career-best four from Caruso who missed the final six minutes of the game after suffering a gash on his chin while taking a charge

Matt Hauser broke out of a mild shooting slump (4 of 17 FGs last two games) with an impressive performance from behind the 3-point line. He connected on a career-best seven 3-pointers (on 10 attempts), which ranks tied for seventh on the school's single-game list. Only four players – Kevin Foster (school-record nine vs. Air Force, March 18, 2011), Jared Brownridge, Steve Nash and Mitch Burley – made more in one game.

Matt Hauser, KJ Feagin, Emmanuel Ndumanya, Henry Caruso and Josip Vrankic started for the fourth-straight contest.
• This was the second meeting between the programs. The Broncos defeated the Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 69-57, on Dec. 15, 2015.
Josip Vrankic's basket with 6:50 left in the first half, were the first points registered by Bronco other than Hauser (12) or Feagin (10) who accounted for the team's first 22.
• The Broncos have connected on 29 of 61 (47.5 percent) 3-pointers over the last two games. They went 17-for-35 against Northern Arizona. That was the second-highest total in school history.
• Caruso drew a charge with 6:38 left in the game and did not return. He cut his chin and is expected to receive stiches.

The Broncos are off until Saturday when Portland State visits Leavey Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

"Well on the one hand you're right (regarding good defense), but on the other hand I look at our shooting percentage defense and we have to be better. And honestly not to be negative on the heels of a win because we want to feel joy and celebrate the good things that just happened, but we got to do a better job finishing still. We were up 24, that was our largest lead of the game, and I look up and somehow it's a nine-point game. Our guys have to understand in college basketball, and sports in general the game is not over, and that to me was the most disappointing aspect of our performance tonight. The best part was the way the guys absorbed the scattering full court and attacked the match up zone on one day of preparation."

Head coach Herb Sendek on the rally from Arkansas-Pine Bluff

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