New ISU logo

New ISU logo

Idaho State was outmanned and overpowered Friday in a 78-65 loss at Santa Clara.

The host Broncos (5-1) shot 59.6% from the floor, scoring 36 points in the paint to bully the much smaller Bengals (2-3).

Six-foot-11 Guglielmo Caruso and 6-foot-10 Jaden Bediako scored 12 points each to lead Santa Clara, combining to shoot 11 for 12.

"Santa Clara is by far the biggest team we've played so far this year," ISU coach Ryan Looney said in a postgame radio interview. "We're undermanned in there. A couple of our biggest guys haven't played in a game yet this season."

Santa Clara scored its first 18 points in the paint and led 18-9 early. A quick trio of 3-pointers by ISU tied it, but the Broncos answered with a 12-0 run to push the lead back to 30-18.

Santa Clara led by as many as 15 points in the first half and went into the locker room up 43-33.

Santa Clara started pulling away midway through the second frame with a 13-0 run, increasing its lead from 62-47 to 75-47 -- the widest margin of the night.

The Bengals closed the game on an 18-3 run over the final 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

Santa Clara's size, length and full-court pressure defense rattled Idaho State, forcing the Bengals into 22 turnovers. The Broncos scored 28 points off of those giveaways.

ISU converted 7 of 17 3-point attempts (41.2%), but shot just 12 of 34 inside the arc (35.3%).

"We're nowhere even close to where we need to be on the offensive end of the floor," Looney said. "Part of that tonight was not handling the pressure. We were getting a little bit scrambled because of it, even (struggling) getting to the right spacing to get into our stuff. Santa Clara did a fantastic job to kind of take us out of most of what we were trying to do."

Though the Broncos made nearly 60% of their shots and went 6 of 14 from downtown -- the best of any ISU opponent this season -- Santa Clara committed 22 turnovers, the most ISU has forced in a game since the 2012-13 campaign.

Idaho State also won the rebounding battle for the fifth time in five games, holding a 31-27 advantage.

"For us, again, to win the rebound margin, is a huge thing," Looney said. "I think our guys definitely battled in that area. We forced 22 turnovers. It allowed us to get at least a few easy baskets in transition."

On the flip side, Santa Clara's field-goal percentage is the highest against ISU since Texas Tech shot 61.4% in 2016. The Broncos made 25 of 38 2-point shots (65.8%).

"I think that was definitely Santa Clara's plan, to go in often and early," Looney said. "You could tell that right from the start of the game. Honestly, right now, if I was coaching against us, I'd probably do the same thing."

Chidi Udengwu led ISU with 12 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Tarik Cool added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. Idaho State went 20 of 30 from the free-throw line.

Caruso and Bediako led five Santa Clara players in double figures. Josip Vrankic dished a game-high seven assists.

Up next:

Idaho State returns to Reed Gym to host West Coast Baptist on Wednesday.