The USF Dons took a 15-point first-half lead with a 10-0 run and then held off a push by the Santa Clara Broncos in the second half en route to a 75-66 win at War Memorial Gym Saturday.
The Dons (13-8, 6-3 West Coast Conference) beat the Broncos (10-12, 3-6) at home for the first time since 2011 while extending Santa Clara’s losing skid to four games.
Cole Dickerson’s layup with 4:13 left in the first half capped a 10-0 spurt by USF that gave the Dons a 29-14 lead and they went into the half up 34-24.
The Broncos chipped away, getting as close as four points at 56-52 with 8:17 remaining on two free throws by Jared Brownridge, but USF answered with seven straight points to push the lead back to 11.
Dickerson scored 28 points for the Dons, while Kruize Pinkins added 14 and Mark Tollefsen chipped in 12. Matt Glover logged 13 rebounds and Tim Derksen had four assists.
Brownridge had a game-high 30 points for the Broncos and Brandon Clark had 12 points and four rebounds, while Yannick Atanga corralled six rebounds.
Santa Clara was 23-for-59 (39 percent) overall, 6-for-20 (30 percent) from deep and 14-for-18 (77.8 percent) from the line. USF was 24-for-49 (49 percent), 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) and 23-for-28 (82.1 percent).
The Dons out-rebounded the Broncos 41-24, but committed 15 turnovers to just nine for Santa Clara.
USF will host Portland Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Pacific, while Santa Clara gets a visit from Gonzaga Wednesday at 8 p.m.