The ninth-seeded Santa Clara Broncos advanced to the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament with a resounding victory over the No. 8-seeded Pacific Tigers 81-64 in Las Vegas. The Broncos will face the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The first half was a game of lead changes as SCU’s Jared Brownridge scored the first five points of the game. Pacific roared back by scoring eight consecutive points of their own. Brownridge capped off first-half scoring with his second trey of the game, giving the Broncos a 34-29 lead into intermission.
Brownridge canned his third trey of the game at the 18:02 mark of the second half to give the Broncos a 39-31 lead. His fourth trey extended the Broncos’ lead to 10 points, and Evan Roquemore’s bucket stretched the lead to 79-59 with 2:39 left in the game.
Brownridge led the Broncos with 20 points, followed by Roquemore (17 points), Brandon Clark (15 points) and Jerry Brown (12 points). Brown pulled down eight rebounds, while Yannick Atanga grabbed seven rebounds. Clark dished out three assists.
The Tigers were led by Sama Taku (16 points) and Tony Gill (10 points). Ross Rivera and David Taylor scored nine points apiece off the bench. T.J. Wallace grabbed seven rebounds, while Gill pulled down five boards.
The Broncos shot 44.8 percent (26-for-58) from the field, 41.7 percent (10-for-24) behind the 3-point line, and a sparkling 86.4 percent (19-for-22) from the charity stripe. The Broncos out-rebounded Pacific 37-28.
The Tigers shot 40.8 percent (20-for-49) from the field, 22.2 percent (4-for-18) behind the 3-point line, and 76.9 percent (20-for-26) from the free throw line.
In Thursday’s other first-round game, No. 10 seed Loyola Marymount knocked off No. 7 seed Portland 67-64 and will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals against No. 2 seed BYU.
Here’s an updated look at the tournament schedule:
Game 1: (10) Loyola Marymount 67, (7) Portland 64
Game 2: (9) Santa Clara 81, (8) Pacific 64
Game 3: (6) San Diego vs. (3) USF, noon (BYUtv)
Game 4: (10) Loyola Marymount vs. (2) BYU, 30 minutes after Game 3 (BYUtv)
Game 5: (9) Santa Clara vs. (1) Gonzaga, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 6: (5) Pepperdine vs. (4) Saint Mary’s, 30 minutes after Game 5 (ESPN2)
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 30 minutes after Game 7 (ESPN or ESPN2)
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (ESPN)