SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Brandon Clark scored a game-high 17 points reaching double figures for the 18th straight game and the Broncos used a stifling defense in posting a 70-50 win over Pacific in a West Coast Conference matchup Thursday night at Leavey Center.
The Broncos upped their record to 12-16 overall and matched Pacific with a 5-10 WCC mark. The Tigers dropped to 14-12 overall with their second straight defeat.
Santa Clara held UOP to a season-low point total and allowed the Tigers to shoot just 32 percent from the field, their second-lowest mark of the year.
Up 10 at 39-29 with 13:02 left in the game, the Broncos used an 11-0 run to take control of the contest with a 50-29 bulge at the halfway point. Nine of SCU's 11 points during the run came from the free throw line with Yannick Atanga making all three of his attempts and Clark going 6 of 6.
Both teams made nine field goals in the second half but the Broncos went 19 of 24 from the charity stripe to secure the win.
Santa Clara shot 35.7% from the field (20-of-56), including 29.6% from beyond the arc (8-of-27) and 78.6% from the free throw line (22-of-28). The Broncos collected 38 rebounds, 6 steals, 12 assists, 6 blocks and 8 turnovers.
Jared Brownridge chipped in with 16 points making four three-point shots, and Nate Kratch tied his career-high with three three-pointers for nine points. Kratch also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds while Atanga and Jerry Brown added six each.
Pacific shot 32% from the field (16-of-50), including 11.1% from beyond the arc (1-of-9) and 94.4% from the free throw line (17-of-18). The Tigers collected 33 rebounds, 4 steals, 8 assists, 1 block and 12 turnovers.
Tony Gill was the only Pacific player in double figures with 10. Gabriel Aguirre and Ross Rivera added eight each. Gill and Trevin Harris topped the Tigers with six rebounds apiece.
The first of nine opening half lead changes came at 19:18 when Brandon Clark hit his only triple of the first stanza for a 3-2 Broncos lead. Yannick Atanga followed with a monster two-hand dunk of a nifty dish from Clark and the Broncos increased their lead to 5-2 at 19:18.
Brownridge hit a jumper at 7:45 to knot the game for a final time at 14-14 and staked the Broncos to a 17-14 advantage with a three on SCU's next possession.
Gabriel Aguirre hit a layup inside to pull the Tigers within one with 6:23 left, but the Broncos closed out the half on a 12-3 run to take a 29-19 lead at the break.
Included in the run was a Denzel Johnson tip in of a Brownridge miss for his 300th career point (301) and an acrobatic reverse layup by Clark with 39.6 seconds for his 950th career point.
Pacific shot just 28 percent in the first half (7 of 25) and made just two field goals over the final eight and half minutes of the opening frame.
NOTES: The Broncos started the same five for a seventh straight game: Brandon Clark, Jalen Richard, Jared Brownridge, John McArthur and Yannick Atanga ... Former 49ers great Joe Montana had a courtside seat at the game ... Atanga made all three of his free throw attempts matching his career-best for made shots ... Evan Roquemore entered the game at the 16:34 mark of the first period and played in his 130th career game ... Roquemore's two free throw attempts at 5:49 of the first half were the Broncos' first of the game ... Denzel Johnson tipped in a missed shot by Kratch at 4:47 of the first to eclipse the 300 career point mark (301) ... UOPs T.J. Wallace was called for a contact technical foul at 10:22 of the second half and Gabriel Aguirre was whistled for a flagrant one foul at 5:00.