Bal’s late shot lifts Santa Clara over No. 23 Gonzaga, 77-76

On Thursday night, Santa Clara defeated No. 23 Gonzaga 77-76, with Adama-Alpha Bal scoring the game-winning shot with 4.6 seconds left.

The Broncos (12-6, 3-0 West Coast Conference) defeated the Bulldogs for the first time since January 20, 2011, ending a 26-game losing run, led by 17 points and six assists by Bal.

Knapper Brenton contributed 16 points.

When the bell went off, a sellout crowd at the Leavey Center roared, and numerous supporters invaded the court.

With 32 points, Anton Watson tied his career high to lead Gonzaga (11-5, 2-1). In the defeat, he contributed nine rebounds and six steals.

Braden Huff contributed 14 points, and Ryan Nembhard scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half.

With 10:48 left, Gonzaga, trailing 52-44, rallied on a 19-6 run to take a 63-58 lead. With 50 seconds left, a dunk by Johnny O’Neil gave Santa Clara a 76-74 lead.

With 14.3 seconds remaining, Bal drew a foul after a Bulldogs miss, but he only made one of two free throws, reducing the lead to 76-75.

Bal hit the game-winning basket after Nembhard missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Santa Clara another opportunity.

After Santa Clara took a 38-25 lead in the game, Gonzaga missed its first 11 3-point attempts. However, the Broncos’ lead was reduced to 40-34 at halftime by the Bulldogs, who ended the first half on a 9-2 run.

Steve Nash, a former great player for Santa Clara and Hall of Famer, was present and received a standing ovation when his image appeared on the video screen during the first half.

The Broncos wore retro uniforms from the 1990s, when Nash won two upset victories in the first round and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *