The Santa Clara Broncos headed to Oregon on Thursday night to take on the Portland Pilots in SCU's WCC conference opener. After being massively outscored in the opening half, the Broncos battled back in the late minutes to attempt to close the gap. Unfortunately, Santa Clara was unable to overcome the early deficit and ended up taking the loss, 84-74.
The Pilots headed into halftime holding a comfortable 44-27 lead. The Broncos regrouped in the second half, outscoring Portland and managing to come within seven points in the last minute. The big first half for the Pilots proved to be too big a hole for SCU to climb out of, however. Late penalties also hurt the Broncos, as the Pilots made eight of 10 free throws in the final two minutes.
Niyi Harrison led SCU scorers with 19 points, also picking up five rebounds.
The Broncos have now lost three of their last four games. This was another tough loss after the heartbreaker of a defeat in the Cable Car Classic. Their overall record falls to 8-6 and they have yet to win a game on the road.
Santa Clara will play their next game on Saturday, January 7, as they visit the Gonzaga Bulldogs.