SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Joe Burton posted 14 points to lead three players in double figures for Valparaiso, which used a balanced offensive attack to outlast Santa Clara men's basketball, 76-68, on Monday.
Bakari Evelyn tallied 11 points and Markus Golder scored 10 for the Crusaders (9-3) who shot a season-high 56 percent from the floor to help snap a three-game losing streak.
Nine Valparaiso players scored four or more points and five had at least four rebounds as the Crusaders held a 33-25 edge on the glass.
Valparaiso, which led nearly the entire game, connected on seven of its final eight field-goal attempts.
After trailing by as many as 17 in the second half, the Broncos pulled within 55-52 with eight minutes left on a pair of free throws by Caruso, but the Crusaders scored 12 of the next 14 points, including eight in a one-minute span.
Burton hit a 3-pointer, Derrik Smits got inside for a layup and Golder nailed a 3 to increase the lead to 67-54.
"Defensively we're not getting nearly enough stops, so that's where it begins," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek said. "We did a little bit better in the second half but I thought we fouled too much."
Feagin tried to keep Santa Clara close, scoring 13 in a four-minute span, but he was the only Bronco to hit a field goal in the final nine minutes of the game.
The Broncos committed 14 turnovers that led to 20 Valparaiso points and were just 20-for-30 from the free-throw line.
Valpo was also 9 of 18 from behind the 3-point line while the Broncos were 8-for-21. Feagin was 4-for-7, all in the second half.
Matt Hauser was held to four points, but had eight assists and just one turnover.
Micah Bradford and Max Joseph each had eight points off the bench for Valparaiso. Joseph also had four of the team's 11 steals and four assists.
Nine Valparaiso players saw at least 12 minutes of action.
The Crusaders led by double digits for the final eight minutes of the opening half and first six of the second.
Golder accounted for all the scoring in a 7-0 run which increased the lead to 28-15 with 6:50 left in the first half.
Caruso (16) and Josip Vrankic (7) combined for 23 of the team's 26 first-half points. The Broncos were held to only two field goals in the final 6:40.
After turning the ball over only five times in Thursday's loss at USC, the Broncos committed nine in the first half, leading to 14 Valparaiso points.
• Matt Hauser, KJ Feagin, Jarvis Pugh, Henry Caruso and Josip Vrankic started for the second-straight contest.
• Santa Clara and Valparaiso played for the second time. The teams met last season at Valpo with Jared Brownridge scoring 30 points, including eight after the end of regulation, to lead the Broncos to a thrilling 87-80 double overtime win.
• Vrankic did not return after being shaken up while committing his fourth foul with 14:06 left in the game.
• Henrik Jadersten came off the bench to grab a game-high tying (with Caruso) seven rebounds in eight minutes of action. That total was also a season high and one shy of Jadersten's career-best.
• Santa Clara committed 23 fouls, one off its season high which occurred in the season opener vs. La Verne (Nov. 10). Valparaiso was tagged with 27 fouls, the most by a Santa Clara opponent this season. La Verne was whistled for 26 fouls.
The Broncos continue their three-game homestand on Thursday when San Jose State visits for the 51st annual Cable Car Classic.
HIGHLIGHTS/INTERVIEWS | Henry Caruso and KJ Feagin after tonight's contest against Valparaiso. FULL HIGHLIGHTS ▶️ https://t.co/U4CDnA8YGf #StampedeAhead #SCUBroncos #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/AwZJZSlo6P— Santa Clara Hoops (@SantaClaraHoops) December 19, 2017
"We haven't been able to put a full 40 minutes together. Among our many areas that we need to improve in, we need to find a way to get stops. Opponents continue to shoot an incredibly high field goal percentage and from three. We have to be extraordinary on offense given the percentages we're giving up.
"We need to continue to get better, to improve our habits, and improve the fundamentals of the game."
Head coach Herb Sendek