SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Freshman point guard Trey Wertz had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists to facilitate a balanced scoring attack for Santa Clara men's basketball, which defeated a cold-shooting Idaho, 77-56, on Friday to finish its season-long homestand with a 6-1 record.
Wertz matched his career-high assist total and turned the ball over just twice with four other Broncos scoring in double figures. Josh Martin and Josip Vrankic each scored a team-high 13 points, Tahj Eaddy dropped 12, all in the first half, and Keshawn Justice chipped in 10.
The Broncos (7-6) shot 51 percent from the floor and posted a season-high 24 assists in recording their fourth-straight win. They held the Vandals (3-8) to 29 percent from the field, including just 4-of-19 from behind the arc.
"One thing I thought our guys did a really good job of this evening was sharing the ball. We really moved the ball and played unselfishly," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said. "I thought Trey did a good job of making plays that were there and he played at a good pace. That was really impressive. It's something we've been emphasizing and I thought he did a terrific job with it."
The Vandals dominated the glass, but were unable to take advantage of the 45 to 31 discrepancy as the Broncos protected the ball, turning it over just six times, including only once in the second half when the lead grew to as much as 30.
Jared Rodriguez and Marquell Fraser had double-doubles for Idaho with Rodriguez scoring a game-high 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Fraser had 11 points and also pulled down 11 boards.
The Broncos extended a 14-point halftime lead to 45-27 on a Wertz 3-pointer and never led by less than 19 in the final 12 minutes of the game
Santa Clara used a 15-2 run midway through the first half to open a 15-point lead on the Vandals. Vrankic scored eight straight points during the stretch. The closest Idaho came in the final 10 minutes of the half was nine points.
"Josip got it going early. it was great to see him hit those three consecutive 3-pointers and that really helped open up the lead for our team," Sendek said.
Vrankic scored all of his points in the first half and totaled four assists and a career-high tying three blocked shots in the game.
• The Broncos have won four of the five meetings with the Vandals who picked up their first win in the series last season at the GCI Great Alaska Shootout.
• Ezekiel Richards returned from his ankle injury after missing one game so the Broncos had eight scholarship players available. Richards had eight points and five rebounds in only 18 minutes of action.
• The Broncos shot better than 50 percent from the field for the third straight contest.
• The Vandals had 21 offensive rebounds and turned that into a 23-8 edge in second chance points.
• Santa Clara totaled seven blocked shots, two off their season-high registered against Sonoma State (Dec. 9). Vrankic's three blocks gives him 14 in the last five games. He entered the game third in the WCC (1.5 pg).
The Broncos hit the road for the first time in over a month when they travel to Washington State on Saturday, Dec. 29.