Santa Clara, Calif. - Despite a balanced all-around scoring effort, the Broncos fell to the Portland Pilots 84-78 in the Leavey Center on Thursday night. Santa Clara falls to 8-14 and 0-9 in WCC play while Portland improves to 6-17 and 3-7 in WCC action.
The Broncos will be back in action this Saturday at San Diego. Tip is scheduled for 4 pm and can be seen on Comcast Bay Area.
Santa Clara shot 43.3 percent from the field (26-60), including 35.0 percent beyond the arc (7 of 20). They collected 25 rebounds, 17 assists, four blocks and five steals. The Broncos shot 82.6 percent from the charity stripe (19 of 23) and turned the ball over eight times.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Denzel Johnson's 18 points (6 of 13). Niyi Harrison added 16 points and seven rebounds while Ray Cowels III and Brandon Clark scored 12 and 11, respectively. Evan Roquemore dished out eight assists for the Broncos.
Portland shot 55.6 percent from the field (30-54), including 36.4 percent beyond the arc (4 of 11). They collected 35 rebounds, 17 assists, five blocks and four steals. The Pilots shot 83.3 percent from the charity stripe (20 of 24) and turned the ball over 10 times.
Individually Portland was led by Ryan Nicholas's 19 points and eight rebounds. Tim Douglas added 16 off the bench while Thomas Van Der Mars added 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Broncos jumped out to a 10-4 lead thanks to seven points from Harrison. Atanga and Johnson added buckets before Douglas finished a floater over Garrett. Garrett responded with a flush on the other end to push the lead back to double digits.
The teams swapped points for the next couple minutes until Portland strung together a 10-0 thanks to numerous Santa Clara turnovers. Johnson came around a John McArthur screen to drill a three to give the Broncos a two point lead.
The Pilots wouldn't go away as Mitrovic tied the game three minutes later with a three from the right side. Mitrovic hit another bucket and Tim Douglas's three from the top of the arc gave Portland a 30-28 lead at 4:21.
B. Clark respond with a three from the right wing and Johnson hit a mid range jumper to tie the game at 30 at 3:28. Riley hit a three from the right side, but Harrison and Johnson hit shots to give the Broncos a 35-33 lead. B. Clark was fouled while shooting a three and knocked down all three free throws, giving Santa Clara a five point lead heading into the lockerroom.
Santa Clara shot 51.9 percent from the field (14 of 27), including 44.4 percent beyond the arc (4 of 9). They collected 15 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and three steals. The Broncos shot 85.7 percent from the charity stripe (6 of 7) and turned the ball over five times. Individually
Santa Clara was led by Johnson's 12 points. Harrison added nine points and four rebouds, while Brandon Clark chipped in six points and five rebounds.
Portland shot 41.9 percent from the field (13 of 31), including 40.0 percent beyond the arc (4 of 10). They collected 17 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and three steals. The Pilots shot 75.0 percent from the charity stripe (3 of 4) and turned the ball over six times. Individually Portland was led by Nicholas's 8 points. Riley, Mitrovic and Douglas each chipped in 5 for the Pilots.
The Broncos and Pilots swapped buckets for the first three minutes of the second half. Cowels III drilled a three from the right wing to push the Broncos lead to six. The Pilots cut the lead to two but Atanga and Clark responded with back-to-back buckets.
Douglas weaved through the defense for a layup and Riley finished on the fast break to cut it to three with 12:20 to go. Harrison tipped in Clark's miss and converted one of two at the line the next time down the floor. The Pilots continued to score as Riley and Bailey tied the game at 54 with just under 10 to go.
Cowels III created space off a pump fake and drilled his third triple of the game. Doran Cason and Garrett each hit two free throws and Rodgers finished in transition to keep the game a one point difference.
After going back and forth for the next couple minutes, Van Der Mars finished a hook shot on the inside to give the Pilots a two-point lead. Van Der Mars and Nicholas hit free throws. Harrison got it going for the Broncos by finishing a reverse underneath the bucket.
Portland continued to keep the lead at two possessions as Nicholas put back a Pilot miss to keep the lead at six. Johnson's floater went down and Atanga was fouled on the shot, allowing him to knock down two free throws and cut the lead at two.
K. Bailey received the in bounds pass and completed an and-one with 50 seconds to go to push the Pilots lead back to five. Cowels III hit a free throw, but Douglas calmly knocked down two free throws for the Pilots to push the lead to six. Atanga's dunk with 28 seconds left cut the lead to four, but the Broncos would not got any closer.