Santa Clara beats University of Portland 83-77
THE SANTA CLARA
January 7, 2016
The Broncos (5-11) defeated the University of Portland 84-77 to pick up their first conference win of the year last Saturday.
KJ Feagin scored a game-high 25 points for the Broncos, while Jared Brownridge added 23 points.
Meanwhile, Pilot Alec Wintering was held to 16 points on 3 of 17 shooting.
He scored 65 points in Portland’s previous two games against University of San Francisco (31 pts.) and Pepperdine (34 pts.) earning him the previous weeks West Coast Conference Player of the Week award.
Through the first half of regulation against the Pilots, the Broncos led 41-39.
The Broncos limited the Pilots to five of 15 three point attempts. Prior to the game, the Pilots were ranked 3rd in the NCAA in three point field goals made (162).
The Broncos secured more rebounds than the Pilots, 22 and 17 respectively.
The Broncos capitalized on 6 second chance points throughout the half, while Portland only did so twice. However, in the final five minutes of regulation the Broncos failed to complete a field goal.
But with 3:02 left, Brownridge went eight of eight from the free throw line, while Feagin went six for six. That effort carried the Broncos to the 77-84 final, leading to their fifth win of the season.
“I think we paced their transition, set a lot of screens for each other, and we moved the ball really well,” Brownridge said.
Feagin has averaged 11.3 points per game in the last seven games.
“He’s been a big help, especially as a freshman coming in and filling the spot, he really has been impressing,” Brownridge said. “He’s ahead of the money curve of freshman.”
With 84 points, the Broncos set a new high point total for the young season.
In the second half the Broncos were 20 of 21 from the free throw line and made 10 of 10 in the final 1:05 of regulation.
The game was tied 16 times and had 17 lead changes.
As a result of his efforts in the Portland game and the Gonzaga contest (26 pts.), Brownridge was honored as the WCC player of the week.
“It’s a good sign of what your teammates have done for you as you wouldn’t get it without them,” Brownridge said.
Despite their record, the Broncos have remained close in most of their contests this season. Of the 11 Bronco losses, eight of them have been by eight points or fewer, six have been by three points or fewer and three were overtime losses.
Hampered by injuries in the preseason, the Broncos struggled with their shooting early at a clip of 34.1 percent from the field and 25.1% on 3 point attempts in the first five games.
In the last 10 games, however, the Broncos have improved as a team to 44.6% from the field and 40% from behind the arc.
Of late, Brownridge has been heating up, averaging 25.2 points in his last 6 games and shooting 48.0 percent from the floor and 55.6% from behind the three point arc.
“Shooting was off at first, but we know that will increase because we have too good of shooters to last the whole year,” Brownridge said. “The main thing is to keep trusting in the process as a team.”
After the team dropped their first two conference games against University of Pacific and Saint Mary’s College, the Broncos gave #24 Gonzaga a scare, losing 79-77.
“We are showing good signs of where we can be as a team,” Brownridge said. “Now we just need to capitalize on those errors we made off of those close games. I think we will learn and grow off of those though losses.”
The Broncos next travel to Brigham Young University (10-5) for a January 7th, Thursday night matchup at 8 p.m.
On Saturday Jan. 9 they take on the University of San Diego (5-8) at 7 p.m.
Contact Brent Hanower at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.