It’s beginning to feel a lot like March Madness.
Jared Brownridge hit a go-ahead layup with seven seconds remaining, and Santa Clara (13-17, 7-11 WCC) held on to upset the Gaels 71-70 on senior night.
Brandon Clark led the way with 21 points for Santa Clara, while Denzel Johnson and Brownridge added 17 apiece. Kerry Carter scored 19 points to lead Saint Mary’s.
The Broncos started hot and led by as many as nine points in the first half. Saint Mary’s (21-8, 13-5 WCC) responded with a 15-7 run and went into halftime down 25-24.
More from West Coast Convo
- Get Conference News, in the New FanSided Android App
- West Coast Convo Madness: Win $500 or an Apple TV from RetailMeNot and LockerDome
- FanSided Madness: Win $500 or an Apple TV from RetailMeNot and LockerDome
- Get Instant Conference News, in the New Sports Illustrated App
- Make sure a Conference fan is crowned Fan of the Year
The teams went back and forth in the second half. With the game tied at 67, Aaron Bright made a huge three-point jumper that put the Gaels ahead 70-67 with just over two minutes left. Brandon Clark responded by making two free throws to pull the Broncos within one.
Brad Waldow missed a layup and Desmond Simmons missed a tip-in after getting an offensive rebound off of Waldow’s miss. Nate Kratch rebounded the ball and gave the Broncos the final possession of the game with 26 seconds left.
With seven seconds left, Brownridge made a layup to give Santa Clara a 71-70 edge. Garrett Jackson missed a three-point jumper for the Gaels as time expired.
The win puts Santa Clara in a tie for sixth place in the WCC. However, their overall record puts them as an eight seed in the WCC Tournament.
The loss has several implications for Saint Mary’s. With BYU’s upset of #3 Gonzaga, the Gaels move into a tie with the Cougars for second place in the WCC.
In order to determine the tiebreaker for the WCC Tournament, we first look at the regular season series between the two. Since they split their two games, we then look at who has a better record against a higher conference seed. Since BYU split the regular season series with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s lost both contests, the Cougars hold the tiebreaker for the second seed in the WCC Tournament.
Santa Clara faces Loyola Marymount in the WCC Tournament on Friday.
Saint Mary’s faces Portland in the WCC Tournament on Saturday.