Santa Clara was ready for its SoCal Challenge opener in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on Monday night, starting quickly and using a 24-0 run to bury TCU and remain unbeaten with an 85-66 victory.
The Broncos (5-0), who entered the game averaging almost 90 points per contest, hit 18 of 30 from the field in the first half and finished 30-for-49, including 11-for-16 from 3-point range (68.8 percent).
TCU (3-1) never looked comfortable, with leading scorer Mike Miles misfiring on seven of his first eight field-goal attempts, finishing 4-of-15 with 10 points.
The Broncos’ deciding 24-0 run began late in the first half and didn’t end until 15:21 remained in regulation.
Giordan Williams, who finished with 15 points, buried a pair of 3s just 42 seconds apart to give the Broncos their largest lead at 60-32 with 14:54 to play.
Guard Jalen Williams, who scored 26 points against Cal Poly on Friday, combined with backcourt mate PJ Pipes to lead Santa Clara on Monday.
Williams finished with 22 points while Pipes scored 17 points and hit 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Coach Jamie Dixon will have to wait another game for win No. 100 at TCU. He’s 99-71 in his sixth season leading the Horned Frogs.
Broncos big men Jaden Bediako and Parker Braun combined to go 7-for-10 on the night with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Keshawn Justice contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds for Santa Clara.
TCU was led by Maxwell Evans, who hit three of his four attempts from long range and finished with 15 points.
Santa Clara was without Josef Vrankic (illness), but Bediako and Braun led a 24-12 advantage in first-half points in the paint.
TCU pulled to 20-18 early in the first half, but a Bediako fast-break slam and a Pipes 3-pointer stretched the margin back to seven.
Butler transfer JaKobe Coles’ 3-pointer pulled TCU back within four at 33-29, but Santa Clara forced the pace and rattled off the first 10 points of that 24-0 run to close the half.
–Field Level Media
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