BYU drops game against Santa Clara

BYU dropped a tough contest to an improved Santa Clara team, 76-68, on Thursday night.

SANTA CLARA – BYU has struggled to consistently notch games in the win column on the road in WCC play this season. That showed again on Thursday night as the Cougars dropped a 76-68 game against the Broncos. With the loss, the Cougars conference record falls to 6-3.

BYU struggled in the first half by turning the ball over 12 times. Santa Clara outscored BYU 16-4 off of turnover points in part of a 13-0 run for the Broncos to pull ahead of BYU 26-17. Santa Clara never relinquished the lead and went to the locker room with a 34-28 lead.

A key matchup in the first game between the teams was that of SCU’s Jared Brownridge and BYU’s Nick Emery. Emery suffered a knee contusion in BYU’s win last Saturday against Pacific and the defensive duties of Brownridge fell to a combination of Emery, TJ Haws, and Elijah Bryant. Brownridge was able to find a rhythm against the rotation and finished the game with 25 points and made 4/10 points beyond the arc.

But it wasn’t just Brownridge who made an impact with the three ball. The Broncos made 45% of three point shots that they took in the game and finished with 14 three-pointers made.

The Cougars struggled to find a foothold in the second half. Coming out of the locker room, BYU cut the lead down to a two score game, but never built on that momentum. Santa Clara quickly extended the lead to 11 points with 14:27 remaining behind an 8-2 run and two three’s from Feagin and Jaderstein.

BYU was led in the loss by Eric Mika who recorded 22 points and eight rebounds. Mika entered the game with seven-consecutive double-doubles but the streak was snapped on Thursday. TJ Haws added 15 points and Elijah Bryant had 13. Nick Emery also extended his streak of games with a made three-point shot to 31 as it was the only field goal he made.

With the loss, BYU is now tied for third place in the conference with Santa Clara and will look to reenter the win column on Saturday as they return to the Marriott Center to face Loyola Marymount. That game will tip-off at 7 pm MT on BYUTV and can also be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network (102.7 FM, 1160 AM, 143 SiriusXM) with Greg Wrubell on the call.

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