Vrankic’s putback lifts Santa Clara over Saint Mary’s 67-66
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Josip Vrankic had 22 points and 10 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with 9.4 seconds left to help Santa Clara beat Saint Mary’s 67-66 on Saturday night.
The Broncos’ Trey Wertz missed a driving layup and Vrankic grabbed the offensive rebound. Vrankic was short on the first putback attempt but grabbed the rebound and scored on the second putback. Malik Fitts missed a pair of attempts in the final seconds for Saint Mary’s.
DJ Mitchell added 16 points and eight boards for Santa Clara (15-3, 2-1 West Coast Conference), which snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Gaels with the last victory a 71-70 win on Feb. 28, 2015.
Jordan Ford had 30 points and Fitts added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Saint Mary’s (15-4, 2-2).
The Gaels took control with a 13-0 run early in the second half but missed 14 of their final 16 shots from the field. The Broncos made five of their final seven shots.