Pepperdine 63, Santa Clara 60
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) _ Marques Johnson and Bryan Hill scored 16 points each as Pepperdine stunned top-seeded Santa Clara 63-60 in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament Saturday night.
It was Pepperdine’s second victory against Santa Clara this season with the other win coming in January when the Waves handed the Broncos their only regular-season home loss.
Gavin Van Der Putten added 12 points and eight rebounds for Pepperdine (10-17), the eighth and lowest seed in the tournament. Pepperdine faces Gonzaga in a semifinal game Sunday night.
Steve Nash scored 25 points for Santa Clara (19-8), which now must hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. It was the second straight year the Broncos came into the WCC tournament on their home floor seeded first, only to lose in the first round.
With 26 seconds remaining and Pepperdine leading 61-58, Khary Hervey made one of two free throws. After Santa Clara’s Marlon Garnett made a layup with 15 seconds left to draw the Broncos within 62-60, Johnson made one of two free throws with 12 seconds left.
Santa Clara’s Lloyd Pierce missed a 3-point attempt at the final buzzer.
Pepperdine led 29-25 at the half despite finishing the first half with only six players available.
Gerald Brown, the conference’s regular-season scoring leader, and Hill both suffered injuries in a pileup with 4:20 remaining in the first half. Brown did not return, but Hill played most of the second half.
Nash had 12 points in the first half for Santa Clara, but the Broncos shot only 22.2 percent (8-for-36) from the floor. Aside from Nash, the Broncos were only 14-for-47 for the game.