The Broncos pushed forward full throttle after a 12-12 first half tie when 6-7 sophomore forward Keshawn Justice decided to take over. Justice scored eight consecutive points forcing San Diego to call a time-out. At that point momentum turned completely in favor of the Broncos for the remainder of the game. Santa Clara went into the half with a 45-27 lead after Justice completed a spectacular 22-point first half with a three pointer as the horn sounded. Justice a right handed slashing wing displayed a nice shooting touch, form, release and a good post game. His play turned the game around after seven early lead changes and three ties. Justice finished the game with 26 points.
San Diego, entering the contest after a conference loss to Loyola Marymount was playing well early on as they opened the game in a full court press to force the tempo. However they could not get the necessary defensive stops to cool off Justice mid-way through the first half. They did have four players produce in double-figures in the game. 6-7 junior forward James Jean-Marie, 6-3 sophomore shooting guard Joey Calcaterra and 6-2 guard Marion Humphrey all finished the game with 14 points. Marie was a power in the paint with his finishes and six rebounds. Calcaterra moves really well without the ball and has a nice shooting touch. Humphrey, a freshman, who is fast with the ball, penetrated regularly and finished with either hand in the paint. 6-6 junior guard Braun Hartfield had a strong second half finishing with 16 points on four 3-pointers and added three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He played solid defense in the passing lanes, on and off the ball, was able to slash to the basket and displayed the ability to make the pull up three-pointer.
Santa Clara capitalized on its balanced scoring attack with three players scoring double figures, and another player one point shy. 6-4 sophomore combo slashing guard Trey Wertz finished with 12 points (5-7FG, 2-3 3FG), five assists and only one turnover. He was good taking care of the ball, penetrating with his quick stagger moves going left and right with good vision. 6-9 Josip Vrankic added 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block. He provided the Broncos with their inside/outside presence from the “Big” position. Off the bench 6-2 smooth junior point guard Tahj Eaddy made his contributions of nine points.
Key Game Stats
- Points in Paint: Santa Clara 36 – San Diego 16
- Bench Points: Santa Clara 17 – San Diego 2
Santa Clara (14-2, 1-0), visits USF (11-6, 0-2) on January 9th while San Diego (7-10, 0-2), hosts top-ranked Gonzaga (16-1, 2-0) also on January 9th.
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