Santa Clara's quick 25-9 start in the second half, led by Nate Kratch's eight points and Evan Roquemore's two threes, proved to be enough for the Broncos as they won 60-42 at CSU Bakersfield on Thursday night.
Roquemore moved to a tie at No. 2 on the Bronco career assists list at 510 with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash '96 with a pass to Brandon Clark in the second half.
The Broncos are 3-4 and CSU Bakersfield is 5-4. Santa Clara travels to San Luis Obispo to play at Cal Poly on Sat., Dec. 7 at 7 pm. The Broncos are now 4-0 all-time vs. Cal State Bakersfield.
"I told the team to take care of the ball at halftime. We are only turning the ball over nine times a game and we knew we could get back on track in the second half if we took care of the ball," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "We want to be better and we will be. It wasn't pretty, but it was a heck of a win for us. Rob was big on the boards tonight for us and Nate is getting more confortable in his own skin and we saw that tonight."
Santa Clara shot 46.9 percent from the field (23 of 49), including 53.8 percent from beyond the arc (7 of 13). The Broncos were 7 of 21 from the free throw line and collected 39 rebounds, 12 assists, five blocks, eight steals and 12 turnovers – with just three in the second half.
Roquemore led all scorers were 12 points and had four rebounds and three assists. Kratch added 11 points in his first start and Jerry Brown scored 10 points with eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Robert Garrett grabbed eight rebounds.
CSU Bakersfield shot 32.7 from the field (17 of 52), including 28.6 from beyond the arc (2 of 7). The Roadrunners were 6 of 11 from the free throw line and collected 33 rebounds, eight assists, seven blocks, two steals and 14 turnovers.
Brandon Barnes led the 'Runners with nine points and six boards off the bench. Tyrell Corbin added eight points. Erik Kinney had seven rebounds.
The Broncos opened the second half on a 25-9 run to take a 49-33 lead at 10:53. Kratch started the second half with eight points and Clark added a bucket. After a couple 'Runners scored, Roquemore then scored back-to-back threes at 15:22 and 14:51 to open up a 39-31 lead.
Roquemore's third assist, a dandy pass to Clark, tied him at No. 2 on the career assist list with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash at 510. CSUB then whistled for time, down 45-33 at 11:41.
Garrett scored a three-point play at 10:53 and Roquemore added two free throws made at 9:03 to make it 50-35. Brown followed on Clark's miss for the score at 8:10.
Brown and Yannick Atanga scored back-to-back inside to make it a 56-39 lead at 4:18. Atanga gave the Broncos an 18-point lead, 60-42, with a three throw at 1:44.
In the first half CSUB turned it over in its first two possessions, sandwiched between a Brownridge three at 19:10. CSUB then scored a couple before Brown danced around under the hoop for a bucket.
Atanga banked the ball in from five feet out at 16:22 to start a 5-0 Bronco run as Clark then scored from beyond the arc at 16:01.
The 'Runners went on an 8-0, including Barnes scoring a pair of free throws off a flagrant foul by Julian Clarke. Roquemore stopped the run with a free throw at 12:20 and Kratch tied it at 14-14 with a three at 10:36.
Clark threw in a floater at 8:37 to give the Broncos a 16-14 lead. Ahmed tied it up inside at 6:35, but Brown grabbed the Bronco lead back inside at 6:20. Corbin's three put the 'Runners up two at 4:11.
Jared Brownridge gave SCU a 22-20 lead on back-to-back baskets inside, but Johnson tied it up at 2:52. After a Brownridge free throw, Maynor gave CSUB the lead again at 1:18. The 'Runners led 24-23 at the half. There were nine lead changes and six ties in the first half.
Game notes: The Broncos started Brandon Clark, Evan Roquemore, Jared Brownridge, Jerry Brown and Nate Kratch ... It was Kratch's first career start … John McArthur is not on the trip after suffering an injury in practice on Wednesday.