Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara opened the 2013-14 season unofficially on Saturday night in the Leavey Center with a 89-60 win over San Diego Christian. The Broncos will open the regular season at Leavey Center on Fri., Nov. 8 at 7 pm vs. Bethesda.
"We started slow which is usually the case to start the year," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "Our starting backcourt had 17 assists so that's a good start. It's good to go out on the court for a different reason after a month of practice."
Santa Clara shot 44.4 percent with 32 field goals on 72 attempts. The Broncos collected 53 rebounds, seven steals, 21 assists and six blocks. They scored 16 of 26 free throws. San Diego Christian shot 33.3 percent with 20 field goals on 60 attempts. The Hawks collected 40 rebounds, five steals, 10 assists and no blocks. They scored 12 of 24 free throws.
Brandon Clark led the Broncos with 17 points, seven assists and two steals (5 FG, 4 3FG, 3 FT). "Running the point is about ball movement," said B. Clark. "We want to get everyone involved and get running up and down the court."
Robert Garrett pounded in 12 points on a perfect 6 of 6 shooting with three blocks. Denzel Johnson and Julian Clarke added 10 points apiece. "We are so deep and hope to get open looks," said J. Clarke. "Brandon does a good job of getting me the ball. It wasn't just me – everyone's doing the right thing on the court."
Jared Brownridge had eight points and six assists. Jerry Brown scored nine with four boards. Yannick Atanga collected a game-high 15 boards with nine points. "We are going to play a lot faster this year than last year," said Atanga. "It was good to get our first win at home."
Andy Saharan led the Hawks with 18 points and Kwaminique Brandon scored 12. Brian Simmons added a team-high six rebounds.
Atanga started the scoring for the Broncos inside at 19:45. John McArthur scored at 17:41 on a dandy pass from B. Clark.
San Diego Christian took a one point lead at 16:03 with an inside basket and a three pointer. A B. Clark free throw tied it up at 15:59, but San Diego Christian sank a free throw and a three to go ahead 8-5 at 15:25.
J. Clarke then scored eight of the next 10 Bronco points to give the Broncos a 15-8 lead at 13:12. He tied it up with a three from the top of the key at 15:00 and then was fouled shooting a three from the elbow and he sank two of three. Robert Garrett showed his quickness with the rebound on J. Clarke's third free throw attempt with a put-back. J. Clarke sank his second three at 13:33.
Jerry Brown collected the first monster dunk of his Bronco career to put SCU up 17-8 at 12:23. Timeout Hawks. Denzel Johnson sank his first three at 11:52.
B. Clark's three at 11:10 made it an 18-0 run. Atanga sank the front end of his pair of free throws, but Brown's aggressive play on the boards was evident when he snared the rebound for a putback, 24-8 Broncos – making the run 21-0.
A three by Richardson at 9:34 stopped the Broncos 21-0 run. It was the Hawks first field goal since the 15:25 mark. Nate Kratch scored his first Bronco basket at 7:51 to make it 30-14.
The Hawks went on a 5-1 run with a couple baskets and a free throw. J. Clarke snuck down the line for a bucket inside. B. Clark scored beyond the arc at 5:12 to make it a 36-21 lead.
Opening the game 0-for-4, Jared Brownridge sank a pair of three throws at 3:15 and the Broncos led 40-23. Brown scored again inside at 2:37 and Atanga followed him at 2:15. Brownridge continued to heat up with a three at 1:45. The Hawks answered with back-to-back threes, 47-29 Broncos.
Kratch ended the half with a bucket with less than three seconds left. The Broncos led 49-29 at the half.
Garrett dunked the ball at 16:13 to keep the Broncos rolling, pushing the lead to 30, 60-30 SCU. The Hawks scored back-to-back threes before Garrett dunked it with two hands again at 14:24. The Hawks answered with their three in a row, but B. Clark was quick with one of his own at 13:53 – 65-39 Broncos.
The Hawks didn't quit and went on an 11-6 run through 9:30 when B. Clark scored his fourth three. The Broncos marched ahead 81-51 including a pair of free throws at 7:25 by Johnson and another pair at 7:07 by B. Clark.
A dandy pass from Johnson gave Jarvis Pugh an easy basket inside at 5:22 – his first basket for the Broncos. Garrett kept working the boards and scored inside at 3:25 – 89-55 Broncos.
The Broncos finished the game off with an 89-60 victory.
Game Notes: Brandon Clark, Jalen Richard, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga started the game for the Broncos … Off the bench first, Nate Kratch and Denzel Johnson checked in at 16:55. It was Kratch's first action in a Bronco uniform.