SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Keshawn Justice scored a career-high tying 16 points and Josh Martin posted a double-double to lead Santa Clara men's basketball to an 82-54 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Thursday for its fourth win in the last five contests.
Santa Clara (5-6) featured a balance scoring attack with five players in double figures and shot a season-best 53 percent from the floor, including a season-high 12 3-pointers. The Broncos out-rebounded the Delta Devils, 39-28, and held them to 41-percent shooting.
Martin recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tahj Eaddy chipped in 15 points and five assists. Josip Vrankic and Trey Wertz added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Torico Simmons had 14 points and Tereke Eckwood scored nine for Mississippi Valley State (2-10), which trimmed a 24-point first-half deficit to 43-29 with an 11-0 run.
The Broncos then put together a 14-4 spurt, getting five points from Henrik Jadersten and 3-pointers by Eaddy, Justice and Martin.
Mississippi Valley State did not get closer than 19 points the remainder of the game.
The Delta Devils scored the opening bucket for its only lead of the game before the Broncos reeled off nine straight points and never looked back in their fifth contest of seven in a row at home.
"I thought we came out and played really well in the first half, especially on the defensive end of the floor," head coach Herb Sendek said. "We shared the basketball and had a really good 20 minutes to start. Obviously, we didn't start the second half the way we intended to and our defense wasn't as good in the second half. All-in-all it was a good win for us."
The Broncos held the Delta Devils to just 30 percent shooting from the floor in the opening half.
Martin was 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point line and Justice was 4 of 6 in the game.
Martin nearly had a double-double in the first half with nine points and nine rebounds.
• Santa Clara and Mississippi Valley State, which plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, met for the second time. The Broncos defeated the Delta Devils, 70-73, on Dec. 27, 2002 in the first round of the Cable Car Classic.
• For the sixth-straight game, the Broncos had only eight scholarship players available due to injury. Fallou Ndoye is the latest addition to the list. He suffered a torn tendon in his foot against San Jose State (Nov. 24). Ndoye and KJ Feagin (broken hand) are out indefinitely. Juan Ducasse (knee) is out for the year.
• Martin posted the 11th double-double of his career. He scored in double figures (12) for the fourth time this season and matched his career-high in 3-pointers (four).
• Santa Clara's 19 assists was tied for second most this season (20 vs. Sonoma State; 19 vs. N. Arizona).
• The Broncos have posted a season-high 82 points in the last two games and have scored 80-plus in four of the last five outings.
HIGHLIGHTS | 4⃣ different Broncos made a 3⃣-pointer and the team knocked down a season-best 1⃣2⃣ triples in Thursday's victory over Mississippi Valley State! #StampedeAhead #SCUBroncos pic.twitter.com/PRwIRzPjoO— Santa Clara Men's Basketball (@SantaClaraHoops) December 14, 2018
The Broncos have three more nonconference games, including the next two at home. They face USC on Tuesday and Idaho on Friday, Dec. 21.
"Josh is a man. He understands how to play hard. He is a tremendous rebounder. He's one of those guys that goes and gets the ball. It's been consistent for us.
- Sendek on Josh Martin
"We talked about letting the game just come to him. He checks in as that sixth man for us. When we got back from Vancouver he forced things and tried to make something happen immediately. As he's gotten back in his rhythm, he's done a great job of going with the flow and seeing what presents itself.
- Sendek on Keshawn Justice
"He's been really focused on getting those turnovers down and today it was great to see five assists and only two turnovers."
- Sendek on Trey Wertz