SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A strong second half lifted Santa Clara men's basketball to a 96-74 victory over Nevada on Tuesday night in a nonconference game inside the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara (3-0) shot 58-percent after intermission to outscore Nevada 57-32 to flip a three point half time deficit to a 22-point victory.
Junior Parker Braun scored a career-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting to lead four Broncos in double figure scoring, with 15 coming in the second half. The Missouri transfer pulled down six rebounds and blocked three shots. Keshawn Justice and Jalen Williams each tallied 18 points while PJ Pipes added 12, all coming in the second half.
Grant Sherfield had a game-high 23 points for Nevada (1-2). Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 18.
The game was a tightly contested affair knotted at 57-all until the Broncos went on a 23-5 run sinking nine of 10 shots to pull away.
In the opening half, Nevada hit three straight 3-pointers out of the gate to take a quick 9-0 lead. After a Bronco timeout, Santa Clara answered with a barrage of 3-pointers from Justice to get right back into the game. The senior forward drained four of them in a three and a half minute span to give the Broncos a 16-13 advantage.
For much of the remainder of the half, the Wolf Pack held the lead but could not extend it beyond five points and entered intermission with a 42-39 lead. On the strength of his four 3-pointers, Justice led the Broncos with 12 points in the first half while Sherfield led Nevada with 10.
- The win over the Wolf Pack was Santa Clara's first against Nevada since December 14, 2002. Nevada won the next five meetings in the series before tonight.
- All five Bronco starters (Pipes, J. Williams, Justice, Vrankic and Braun) are currently averaging at least 11.0 points per game through three games.
- For the second-straight game, Santa Clara knocked down at least 10 3-pointers, a feat they achieved just twice last season.
The Broncos close out the four-game homestand when they host Cal Poly on Friday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. inside the Leavey Center.