The Portland Pilots broke open a tie game in the second half with an 18-6 run and handed the Santa Clara Broncos their sixth straight loss, 76-64, Saturday night at the Leavey Center.
Portland (13-10, 5-6 West Coast Conference) broke open a close game, sparked by Thomas van der Mars’ layup with 14:02 to go that put the Pilots up 44-42. Alec Wintering made the second of two free throw attempts with 6:50 left that put Portland ahead 60-48 and the Broncos (10-14, 3-8) never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
The Pilots were led by van der Mars, who had a career-high 28 points to go with 11 rebounds. Ryan Nicholas added 13 points and 10 boards, Wintering had 10 points and six assists and Kevin Bailey also scored 10 points.
Jared Brownridge had 20 points for the Broncos, while Jerry Brown had 11 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. Brandon Clark also notched 11 points to go with three steals. Evan Roquemore handed out six assists.
Portland was 25-for-48 (52.1 percent) overall, 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) from long range and 24-for-28 (85.7 percent) at the foul line. Santa Clara was 21-for-55 (38.2 percent), 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) and 17-for-19 (89.5 percent).
The Pilots had a 35-24 edge on the glass and committed nine turnovers to seven giveaways for the Broncos.
Portland picked up a season split with the win. The Broncos had won in Portland 76-68 on Dec. 30.
Santa Clara visits BYU Thursday at 8 p.m.