Santa Clara overpowers Boston College in 62-45 win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Although Santa Clara's final game Sunday in the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy was only for seventh place, the Broncos were more than ready to notch their first victory of the season after dropping seven to start the year.
Nate Kratch posted a double-double – 12 points and 10 rebounds – and Kai Healy added 14 points as Santa Clara earned a 62-45 victory over Boston College.
''We wanted to be aggressive on offense and defense,'' said Kratch. ''We communicated better and pushed the ball up well into transition.''
''I'm proud and happy for our kids,'' said Broncos coach Kerry Keating. ''We've had a rough first month of the season, but I feel we're getting better.''
Santa Clara (1-7), which had lost its first two games of the tournament to Arizona and Evansville, shot 44 percent (22-50) and out-rebounded Boston College 39-34.
The Eagles, who had won its first three games of the season, dropped all three games in the holiday tourney and fell to 3-3.
Kratch, who was 6 of 7 from the field, has recorded double-digit rebound totals in three of the last four games. Healy made 4 of 8 shots and had 7 rebounds.
''We stayed positive and had better energy today and didn't worry about the past,'' Kratch added. ''We came with a workers mentality and focused on fundamentals.''
Neither team was able to create separation until Santa Clara made a late first half charge.
With the score tied at 21 and 5:58 to play in the half, the Broncos went on a 12-0 run and built a 33-21 halftime lead.
The Broncos got a big lift from 6-11 freshmen forward Henrik Jadersten down the stretch in the first half. The Stockholm, Sweden native drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and added a pair of free throws propelling Santa Clara to a double-digit lead.
Jared Brownridge, who scored 63 points in the first two games of the tournament for the Broncos, was ice cold from the field. The junior guard made just 4 of 15 shots in the game and finished with 9 points.
Boston College misfired on their final 11 possessions of the first half, shot only 21 percent and missed 13 of 16 shots beyond the arc. The Eagles did not score in the final 5:58 of the half and were outrebounded 23-19 in the opening 20 minutes.
''We had three guys (Kratch, Jadersten and Healy) step up and produce for us today and they were a major factor in the game,'' said Keating.
Healy led the Broncos with 10 points in the first half and Jadersten added 8.
Eli Carter led the Eagles with 16 points. A.J. Turner and Dennis Clifford each added 10 points apiece for Boston College.
The Broncos extended its lead to as many as 25 points in the second half and were never threatened.
Boston College shot 28 percent (17-60) in the game, making just 4 of 26 from 3-point range (15.4 percent).
''We'll go to go home and get better,'' said Eagles coach Jim Christian. ''The bad thing about these tournaments is if you're playing bad you don't have a lot of time to fix it.
''It's mental glitches but it's still early in the season. It was a disappointing tournament for us. ''
Boston College: The Eagles lost games one and two in the tournament to Michigan State and UC Irvine.
Santa Clara: The Broncos lost their first two games of the tournament to Arizona and Evansville.
LIGHTING IT UP
Broncos guard Jared Brownridge's 44 points against Arizona on Thanksgiving is the highest single game point total by a player this season in the NCAA. It was Brownridge's fourth time in his career that he scored 30 or more points in a game. His previous high was 38 points against Pepperdine on March 1, 2014.
YOUNGSTERS LEADING THE WAY
Ten of the 15 players on Boston College's roster are freshmen and have accounted for 62 percent of the Eagles scoring thus far.
MIXING IT UP
Entering Sunday's game the Broncos have used 5 different starting lineups.
LONG TIME NO SEE
Sunday's contest was only the second time the two schools have met. The Eagles won the first meeting in December of 1991.
Boston College will host Penn State on Wednesday.
Santa Clara plays San Jose State next Saturday at home.