Two Jared Brownridge free throws put Santa Clara up by 1 point with just over 10 seconds left to play, and the Broncos were on the verge of knocking off South Florida.
On South Florida’s last possession, Victor Rudd drove left and went up for a shot, but was stripped by Santa Clara senior forward Jerry Brown. Rudd got the ball back, but proceeded to take a long, contested three-pointer which fell short. Santa Clara escapes Vegas with a 1-1 record and a 66-65 victory over the South Florida Bulls.
Brandon Clark led the scoring charge for the Broncos with 12. Freshmen Brownridge and Jalen Richard were not far behind with 10 apiece.
Jerry Brown was a menace on both the defensive and offensive boards tonight. The graduate student transfer finished with 11 rebounds total, leading all Broncos.
Evan Roquemore got back to distributing tonight, finishing with 5 assists and only turning the ball over once.
Rudd led the Bulls with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Overall, the South Florida star did not have a great day shooting; the redshirt senior shot a dreadful 6 of 17 from the field.
Stat of the Game
The Broncos shot 85.0% from the free-throw line today, a stark difference to the 35.7% South Florida’s shot today. This was the underlying difference in the game, and allowed Santa Clara to overcome a late second half deficit.
Player of the Game
Jared Brownridge: 10 points, 3 of 6 shooing (2 of 4 from three) and 1 steal.
Brownridge’s three-pointer and clutch free-throws down the stretch were the primary reason why the Broncos were able to mount the comeback that they did, even though he struggled to find open looks earlier in the contest.
The Bottom Line
This win has to feel good for the Broncos, who played four games in eight days and came out with three victories.
The Broncos were not necessarily the best team out on the court tonight, but they played super hard and ended up coming out with the victory over a major conference opponent.
Although the Bulls were without point guard and floor general Anthony Collins, and the Santa Clara guards did not play to their potential, the Broncos did the little things that allowed them to come out with the W.
Next: Santa Clara plays Gonzaga in the Kennel on Saturday, December 28th to tip-off WCC play for the Broncos.