SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Sam Dower Jr. made a game-winning three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left and finished with 12 points as Gonzaga avoided its first loss at Santa Clara since 2001, with a 54-52 win on Wednesday night.
Jared Brownridge’s half-court shot went off the side of the rim at the buzzer, and Santa Clara lost its fifth straight.
It was Dower’s only shot attempt of the second half.
Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points, highlighted by three three-pointers in a little over five minutes late in the second half for Gonzaga (19-3, 9-1 West Coast Conference).
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Evan Roquemore scored 15 points for Santa Clara (10-13, 3-7), seven coming in the final four minutes. His second three-pointer, in the Broncos’ late 13-2 run, pulled his team to 51-50 with 1:23 left. After a Pangos miss, Brandon Clark made a runner over Przemek Karnowski for a 52-51 lead with 28 seconds left.
The first half was intense, rough and a bit ugly.
The Broncos shot just 35 percent from the field, but they sizzled in comparison to Gonzaga, which shot just 26.9 percent.
The teams combined to make 2 of 11 three-pointers and committed the same number of turnovers (15) as field goals.