Santa Clara Cruises Past Pacific 57-40


Things were turned upside down in the game between the Santa Clara Broncos and Pacific Tigers on Monday. With nothing really going as one would predict this matchup to go, the result still ended up being as expected. The Broncos used a strong shooting night including from three point and locked down on defense to do enough to win a low-scoring affair 57-40 over the Pacific Tigers on Monday.

Nov 24, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Santa Clara Broncos forward Matt Hubbard (22) shoots over Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) during the 2nd half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU won 79-52. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Most notable was the difference scoring patterns. Both teams are known to rely heavily on their star guards. Rarely is T.J. Wallace not the leading scorer for Pacific, and that honor goes to Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge in almost every game for Santa Clara. But both teams had a new leading scorer on Monday. Matt Hubbard had a game-high 15 points and was one of three Broncos in double figures. Brownridge was right behind him with 14 points.

Pacific meanwhile struggled mightily shooting just 28.9% from field goal range. Alec Kobre was the only player in double figures with 11 points, and the normally reliable Wallace had a rough night with just 2 points. Perhaps there is a larger issue there as he played just 19 minutes and attempted 3 shots. A number of Tigers got significant minutes as Ron Verlin looked for a solution to their shooting woes. But despite strong 6-15 shooting from three point range, the Tigers had no answer on offense.

Another surprise was the rebounding battle. Both teams are weak rebounders due to their lack of depth in the frontcourt, but Pacific had the advantage coming in. The Broncos have struggled since losing Yannick Atanga for the season, and the only player among the top rebounders in the WCC in this game was Pacific’s Jacob Lampkin. But he had just 3 rebounds in limited minutes and Santa Clara won the rebounding battle by a large margin at 34-24. Nate Kratch had a big night with 11 rebounds, and Clark and Brownridge took their talents into the paint with 7 and 8 rebounds respectively. Pacific actually won the offensive boards 10-8, but Santa Clara dominated on the defensive side 26-14.

Yet another turn of events was the turnover battle. The Broncos are strong team in steals and ball control as they often win the turnover battle while limit themselves to single digit turnovers. But they gave up 14 in this game compared to forcing 8 turnovers by Pacific. The Broncos did however benefit from their strong shooting night and the struggles of Pacific as they had 11 points off turnovers. That was 7 more points off turnovers than Pacific despite the fact that the broncos had 6 more turnovers.


Santa Clara Field Goal Shooting: 48.8%

Pacific Field Goal Shooting: 28.9%

These are two of the lower tier teams in the conference, and they showed it in an ugly game. Both teams didn’t put up huge numbers in anything, so there was no real advantage anywhere. So at the end of the day, the team that shot better did just enough to win. Give credit to Hubbard Denzel Johnson who both had above average scoring nights to help Clark and Brownridge. This was a perfect example of how Santa Clara can win games when they have more of a team effort. Some opponents will be too good regardless, but against a weak team like Pacific they just needed a little extra to put them over the top. And they got it with strong shooting and more offensive support than usual.


Matt Hubbard – Santa Clara: As mentioned above, the difference in this one came down to the shooting and who got a better team effort overall. Clark and Brownridge were good but not great, so Hubbard stepping up with his game-high 15 points including going a perfect 3-3 from three point range was huge. If the Broncos don’t get that performance, they might have suffered the loss. In an ugly game where both sides didn’t do much, Hubbard was a bright spot that proved to be a difference maker in this low-scoring battle.


The Broncos improved to 6-7 on the year and 1-1 in WCC play with the win. They snapped a three game losing streak. They return home for a pair of games in early January. On New Year’s Day they host BYU followed by San Diego on January 3rd.

Pacific falls to 8-6 overall and 0-2 in WCC play with the loss. They visit Loyola Marymount on New Year’s Day and Pepperdine on January 3rd before returning home to host Saint Mary’s on January 10th.