STOCKTON, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball got some scoring from its leaders and key stops to claim an impressive West Coast Conference road victory on Saturday.
KJ Feagin and Henry Caruso each posted 18 points, and Emmanuel Nduamanya scored 15 with nine rebounds to lead the Broncos to a 72-68 win over Pacific, which came into the matchup as one of the hottest teams in the league.
Roberto Gallinat matched his career-high with 24 points and Mile Reynolds tallied 16 for the Tigers (14-15, 9-7) who made only one of their final 11 from the floor and were held to 32 percent shooting from the floor in the second half.
In a game tied 16 times with the same number of lead changes, Feagin put the Broncos (11-17, 8-8) ahead 64-63 on a 3-pointer from left wing with 3:15 left.
Pacific, which entered the game with wins in four of its last five, closed to within one point twice more, but the Broncos came up with stops and nailed their free throws.
Gallinat missed a potential tying jumper with 24 seconds left and Ndumanya grabbed the rebound. Caruso was fouled and made both free throws.
Reynolds was fouled on drive with 14 seconds left but was only able to hit one free throw. Caruso was fouled on the rebound and iced the game with two more from the line.
"They have a number of weapons," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said. "But our guys did a great in that last possession forcing a tough shot and fortunate to get a win."
The victory, their third straight, kept the Broncos in a three-way tie with San Diego and San Francisco for fifth in the league standings.
The top six finishers in the regular season receive an opening-round bye in the WCC Tournament.
Feagin (12) and Caruso (10) combined for 22 of the team's 36 second-half points.
Neither team led by more than four points over the last 28 minutes, but the Broncos were ahead for much of the opening half.
Santa Clara connected on 5 of 7 from behind the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes, which helped it build a 19-12 lead.
But the Tigers took advantage of six first-half turnovers by the Broncos to tie the game three times and eventually pull ahead 36-34 on a jumper by Jahlil Tripp, who had 14 points, with 1 minute left.
Both teams were sent to the free-throw line in the game. Santa Clara was 21-for-29 in the game and Pacific was 23 of 31.
The Broncos made all six attempts in the final two minutes of the game.
• KJ Feagin, Kai Healy, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started as a group for the seventh time this season. Healy made his eighth-straight start. Matt Hauser (foot) missed his seventh-straight game. He was injured against San Diego (Jan. 25).
• The Broncos have a 96-45 edge in a series that dates to 1905. This is the fifth season the Tigers have been a member of the West Coast Conference, with the Broncos now leading 7-4 in that span. But the teams have faced each other every season since 1994-95. The 141 games played are the fifth-most among Santa Clara opponents.
• Ndumanya (15) has scored in double figures in four of the last eight games. He tallied 10 or more points in two of the first 20 games this season. The senior had nine rebounds to just miss his second straight double-double
• Caruso played all 40 minutes. He has been off the floor for only 13 minutes in the last 10 games.
"KJ stepped up and made two huge plays, if not more. He played a great game. He continues to put us on his back and play outstanding. But everybody fought like crazy.
"We got big stops and had to battle tooth and nail on the boards too. Henry made a big hustle play and made big free throws for the third game in a row."
Head coach Herb Sendek
VIDEO | @kjfeag on Saturday's @WCCsports win vs. @PacificMensBB, which kept the #SCUBroncos in t-5th in @WCChoops standings. Feagin discusses the 'confidence and connectivity' of the team and his big shots down the stretch. #StampedeAhead #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/tbhlpts2eW— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) February 18, 2018
VIDEO | @hcaruso21 on Saturday's @wcchoops win vs @PacificMensBB. The senior discussed 'playing tough' & 'finishing plays' in a key #WCCHoops victory. Caruso will be one of 4 #SCUBroncos playing his final home game on Thursday vs @lmuhoops #StampedeAhead pic.twitter.com/pCUg0nwJtR— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) February 19, 2018