SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's basketball shot 60 percent from the floor and forced a season-high tying 22 turnovers while five Broncos scored in double figures en route to a 78-65 win over Idaho State on Friday night.
With a decided height advantage, Santa Clara (5-1) outscored Idaho State 36-24 in the paint whose two tallest players stood at 6-foot-8. The 6-foot-11 Guglielmo Caruso scored all his game-high 12 points in the paint but was forced to sit early in the second half after picking up his fourth foul.
The Broncos did not miss a beat with their leading scorer out as 6-foot-10 freshman Jaden Bediako stepped in to score 10 of his career-high tying 12 points in the second half.
Chidi Udengwu led the Bengals (2-3) with 12 points and Tarik Cool chipped in with 11.
Santa Clara pulled away midway through the second half with a 17-2 run that pushed the lead to 75-48 with 7 minutes left. Justice nailed a pair of 3-pointers to cap the flurry.
The Broncos emptied the bench and the Bengals were able chip away. Santa Clara had only one field goal in the final 7:32.
Santa Clara opened the game scoring all its points from the paint to take a 18-9 lead. However, Idaho State connected on three-straight 3-pointers, two of them by Cool, to erase the Santa Clara lead to tie it at 18-all.
The first Bronco points outside the paint came on Justice's three free throws at the 8:43 mark in the first half that started a 20-5 run giving them biggest lead of the half at 38-23 before settling for a 10 point cushion at the half.
Idaho State opened the second half with a Malik Porter jumper to cut into the Santa Clara lead to single digits at 43-35 but that is as close as they would come.
The Broncos scored 28 points off 22 forced turnovers, however, they committed just as many after giving it away only five times in the last game against Notre Dame de Namur.
• The Broncos and Bengals are all tied in the series 3-3.
• Santa Clara held Idaho State to 37 percent shooting from the field and have held all but one opponent to under 40 percent from the floor this season.
The Broncos play the third game of their five-game homestand on Wednesday when they face Denver in the Cable Car Classic. Tipoff is 2 p.m. from Leavey Center.