LAS VEGAS -- Jared Brownridge kept Santa Clara's basketball season alive Thursday night with a game-high 20 points in the Broncos' 81-64 victory over Pacific in the West Coast Conference tournament at the Orleans Arena.

He might have drawn a bit more attention to himself after tallying 38 points against Pepperdine last weekend, the third time the freshman guard from Aurora, Ill., scored at least 30 this season.

After Thursday's game, though, he acknowledged that he still feels like a freshman. "I still do," he said as he grinned outside Santa Clara's locker room. "I still have a lot to figure out, terminology and whatnot."

Santa Clara improved to 14-18 and will play top-seeded Gonzaga (25-6) in a quarterfinal Saturday at 6 p.m. The Broncos lost at Gonzaga by 14 points in late December and were beaten by the Zags by two points at home in late January.

"It's good we get a day off and can get fresh for Saturday," Broncos coach Kerry Keating said. "We know it will be a battle."

Pacific finished its season at 15-15.

Guard Evan Roquemore added 17 points for the Broncos, and guard Brandon Clark chipped in with 15. Guard Sama Taku paced Pacific with 16 points.

Santa Clara led 34-29 at halftime after Roquemore, from nearby Henderson, gave it a boost with two 3-point shots within an 80-second span. The second gave the Broncos a 26-23 lead that they kept for the final 51/2 minutes of the half. Both were against UOP freshman forward David Taylor.


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Roquemore, perhaps fueled by family in the crowd of a few hundred who occasionally held up a big sign devoted to him, curled around for a scoop bank shot on the right side with 2:06 left. His ensuing free throw, from a foul by Pacific forward Tony Gill, gave Santa Clara a 31-27 lead.

The Broncos took 27 seconds to work for the final points of the first half as a series of precision passes, against the Tigers' 3-2 zone defense, resulted in Brownridge canning a 3-point shot from the right side with 29 seconds left until intermission.

Brownridge, a freshman guard from Aurora, Ill., kept at least four Pacific defenders busy with baseline curl after baseline curl, and his 10 points tied Taku for game-high scoring honors at the half.

With 111/2 minutes remaining in the game, freshman forward Nate Kratch provided Santa Clara a double-digit advantage the rest of the way when the lefty drilled a 3-point shot from the right corner.

The Broncos stretched their lead to 21 points twice.

Loyola Marymount 67, Portland 64: Evan Payne scored 19 points as the 10th-seeded Lions (13-18) edged past the No. 7 the Pilots (15-16) and advanced to the quarterfinals in the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Women

USF 63, Loyola Marymount 62: Taj Winston tipped in her own missed shot with one second left to lift the Dons (12-18) over the Lions (9-21) in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

USF, which erased a 10-point second-half deficit, advances to the quarterfinals Friday against top seed Gonzaga at 6 p.m.

A steal by Winston with 15 seconds left started the pivotal final sequence. She missed a jump shot, then missed the first tip-in attempt before hitting the second.

Winston led USF with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Pepperdine 80, Santa Clara 74: Nici Gilday scored a team-high 27 points, but the Broncos' season ended with an opening-round loss in the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

Jo Paine added 17 points and nine rebounds for SCU (10-20). Ea Shoushtari led the Waves (6-24) with 30 points.

Pepperdine outrebounded Santa Clara 50-35 and was led by Grace Leah Baughn's 19 points on 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.