Keary Keating and his Santa Clara Broncos have lived their own version of Groundhog’s Day. Just weeks after playing BYU tough only to give up a monstrous second half run and lose going away, Santa Clara played BYU tough only to give up a monstrous second half run and lose going away. Brandon Davies scored his 20th career double-double and Matt Carlino continued his terrific play as BYU defeated Santa Clara 96-79 on Saturday evening in Provo.
The Broncos came out firing during the first half, making seven three-pointers and taking advantage of the lapses in BYU’s defensive scheme. Raymond Cowels II, Evan Roquemore, and Kevin Foster all scored in double-figures over the first 20 minutes of action at the Marriott Center. It looked like this one might go down to the wire.
Then the second half came to pass, and it was a familiar feeling in this series. Leading by one point at 54-53, the Cougars rolled off a staggering 32-10 run over the middle section of the second half. On January 12, with the score tied at 50, BYU went on an 18-0 run to put the game out of reach. Groundhog's Day indeed.
The loss snapped the Broncos five-game winning streak and dealt SCU its fourth WCC loss. The win gives BYU some breathing room in the third position of the West Coast Conference and keeps BYU’s hopes of an-large bid alive for the time being. Optimism exudes in Happy Valley as this BYU team can be dangerous with the kind of performance from the main cogs. Carlino finished with a game-high 28 points, Davies 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Tyler Haws had 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Josh Sharp was terrific in the first half, bringing energy and an ability to keep possessions alive.
BYU plays at San Diego on Thursday.