Big time players need to show up to win. Jared Brownridge did just that.
Brownridge had 28 points, including six three-pointers as Santa Clara (12-16, 6-10 WCC) snapped a six-game losing streak and beat Loyola Marymount 70-63. It is their first win since a Jan. 24 victory over Pepperdine.
The Broncos started the game with a 19-5 run, keyed by four three-pointers from Brownridge. That helped Santa Clara build a 35-21 lead going into halftime.
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A combination of cold shooting and turnovers helped the Lions cut the lead down to six with 8:33 remaining. Santa Clara held a margin six points or bigger until the final minute. A three-pointer by Matt Hayes, combined with a dunk and jumper from Godwin Okonji cut the lead to three with 36 seconds left. Santa Clara held on to make free throws and escape with a victory in Los Angeles.
The game marked the first time Santa Clara scored at least 70 points since a 70-64 win against San Francisco on Jan. 17. The Broncos scored a remarkable 48.9% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc. While they held LMU to 35.4% shooting, they allowed the Lions to score ten threes. That ultimately allowed them to stay in the game until the final minute.
Matt Hayes led the way with 20 points for the Lions. David Humphries had 16 and Godwin Okonji added 15. The three shot a combined 14-of-37 from the field.
Loyola Marymount (8-21, 4-13 WCC) has now dropped five straight games. The Lions have averaged just 58 points per game during this losing stretch.
Santa Clara hosts Pacific on Thursday.
Loyola Marymount ends the regular season at Pepperdine on Saturday.