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Santa Clara holds off Washington State 76-67

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jared Brownridge scored 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Santa Clara beat Washington State 76-67 on Saturday night, ending a four-game losing streak to the Cougars.

Brandon Clark added 19 points as the Broncos (5-4) won their third straight. Denzel Johnson added 12 points and Kai Healy had 10.

”Any time we have a chance to compete against that league anywhere, it’s a bonus,” Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating. ”The guys are playing well and taking advantage of opportunities.”

The Broncos won their fourth straight and have two more home games before conference play opens.

Josh Hawkinson scored 16 points and had a career-high 16 rebounds for the Cougars (4-5), who have lost three of four. Ike Iroegbu scored a season-high 18 points.

”Josh has shown me a mental toughness,” Cougars coach Ernie Kent said. ”He has shown up every day and has not had a bad game yet. From where he was last year to what he’s done this year, it’s pretty amazing.”

Hawkinson said he worked on his mid- and long-range shots along with weight training to diversify his contributions.

”My role has obviously expanded this year,” Hawkinson said. ”I have more chances of playing and I put in a lot of work during the offseason. Rebounding is my primary role for sure and that’s something I take pride in.”

Washington State was 37 percent from the field in the first half before shooting just under 54 percent in the second half.

”We had some opportunities to knock down shots early that would have changed the game,” Kent said. ”We didn’t shoot well.”

Santa Clara beat its first Pac-12 opponent at home since an 86-76 win over Stanford on Nov. 25, 2004.

”We were fortunate to get this game late in the scheduling process,” Keating said.

Brownridge, last year’s WCC Newcomer of the Year, topped 700 career points. The sophomore now has 706 career points.

”Those guards really got after us,” Kent said. ”We could not shut them down.”

The Broncos opened a 13-point lead with 12:02 remaining to play on a Brownridge 3-pointer.

Washington State drew within 64-59 with 3:41 remaining after Davonte Lacy sank a pair of free throws.

”We’re a work in progress,” Hawkinson said. ”We’re getting better every day and learning the offense. Right now it’s past the point where we need to execute the offense.”

The Cougars, who will play their next four games against California schools, scored the game’s first four points and still led by four five minutes into the contest.

Santa Clara scored the next seven points to take the lead for good, and held a 38-30 edge at halftime.

FAMILIAR FEELINGS

Santa Clara freshman forward Matt Hubbard grew up about a three-hour drive from Washington State, where his older sister, Haley, is a junior. He attended Cougar basketball camps growing up and played against Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson.

Washington State has five players from California, including starter Junior Longrus from Oakland and Trevor Dunar from San Francisco. Ike Iroegbu hails from Sacramento.

TIP INS

Washington State: In the first four games of the season, Josh Hawkinson more than doubled his career totals in points and rebounds. He averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds as a freshman. He’s averaging a double-double this year (14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds). . The Cougars are 0-4 on the road. . DaVonte Lacy moved into a sixth-place tie on Washington State’s all-time 3-point field goals list with 207.

Santa Clara: Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark were the WCC’s top-scoring backcourt last year, combining for over 31 points a game.

UP NEXT

Washington State returns to Pullman and will host San Jose State on Dec. 21 after a week of finals.

Santa Clara hosts Northeastern on Saturday as part of the Cable Car Classic.

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