FULLERTON, Calif. -- It's the same fight song and the same packed stands at home games. It's just not the same tough-minded defensive team that college basketball has come to expect from Arizona.
Despite a senior-dominated lineup, the 11th-ranked Wildcats struggled to escape with a 75-73 overtime victory against winless Santa Clara on Thursday night in the opening round of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy.
Gabe York, who was 1-of-12 shooting in regulation, scored seven of his 11 points in the extra session for Arizona (5-0). Ryan Anderson led the Wildcats with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mark Tollefsen added 13 points before fouling out in overtime, and Kaleb Tarczewski had 12 points and eight rebounds.
None of them could stop Jared Brownridge, who scored a career-high 44 points for the Broncos (0-6), hitting seven 3-pointers and making all 15 of his free throws. He surpassed James Harden's tournament record of 40 points set with Arizona State against UTEP in 2008.
"He put 44 on us and it wasn't like we weren't trying," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "It's not just 44, it's 44 out of 73. That's a lot of points in the college game, especially that ratio."
The Wildcats are away from home for the first time after winning their first four games at McKale Center.
"We have such a long way to go on defense it's not even close," Miller said.
Brownridge's seventh 3 tied the game at 73 with 32 seconds left after the Broncos committed two straight turnovers.
"We have a lot of young guys who don't really know how the whole season goes," Brownridge said. "We did a great job of just going out there and fighting."
York got fouled and missed the first free throw, but made the second to put the Wildcats ahead 74-73. The Broncos inbounded on the baseline, but K.J. Feagin stepped out of bounds running up the sideline with a second left.
"Some of those late turnovers, you've got to put guys in a position to win and guys need to learn how to execute those things," Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating said.
Anderson got fouled and made the first for a 75-73 lead before intentionally missing the second. The Broncos inbounded again on the baseline, but Brownridge's desperation 3-pointer from halfcourt missed at the buzzer.
"Santa Clara did a great job of playing us physical, playing us strong," Anderson said. "They made it really difficult on me and our team."
Jarvis Pugh missed two free throws that could have won the game in regulation for Santa Clara. York's potential winning 3-pointer missed at the buzzer for Arizona, sending it to overtime tied 65-all.
"They missed a couple free throws and they should have beat us based on that," Miller said.
The Wildcats blew a 17-point, first-half lead, getting held to one field goal over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first.
"I subbed a number of guys," Miller said. "From that substitution on, I don't know that we really regained any command of the game. We got a heavy dose of a lot of lessons."
The score was even at 54 before Arizona made five free throws and Tollefsen hit two baskets in a 9-3 spurt. Santa Clara came right back and tied it 63-all on six straight points, capped by Brownridge's 3-pointer.
Anderson scored and got fouled, but missed the free throw. Brownridge got fouled and made both for another tie at 65. Anderson missed a jumper with 6 seconds to go.
Brownridge sparked the Broncos, scoring eight points in a 13-4 spurt that tied the game at 54. Their defense was big, too. Feagin stole the ball from Allonzo Trier and scored on a fast-break layup, and Matt Hubbard blocked a shot by Anderson.
Brownridge scored five of Santa Clara's first seven points in the second half to pull the Broncos into a 34-all tie. Arizona responded with a 16-7 run to lead 50-41.
Santa Clara ran off 12 consecutive points, including eight by Brownridge, to cut Arizona's lead to 32-27 late in the first half. The Wildcats struggled with turnovers the Broncos converted into transition baskets. Kadeem Allen's bucket left Arizona ahead 34-27 at the break.
Santa Clara: The Broncos are in the midst of playing five straight road games. ... Santa Clara made 17 of 22 free throws.
Arizona: The Wildcats had a season-high 17 turnovers. ... York's streak of scoring in double figures was extended to five games. ... Ten Wildcats are from California and seven grew up within 60 miles of Anaheim, where the event ends Sunday.
Miller said Tarczewski has been bothered by injuries to both ankles this season, and the 7-foot senior reinjured one of them in the game. "I don't know the severity, but certainly that's not good," the coach said.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
Brownridge's 15 free throws tied the tournament record and his seven 3s also were a single-game mark. His 19 3-point attempts set a tourney record as did his 29 field goal attempts.
Brownridge, a junior who missed the first 21 practices with a pelvic injury, made 15 of his team's 17 free throws and had seven of its 10 3-pointers.
Santa Clara plays Evansville on Friday on Day 2 of the Wooden Legacy.
Arizona plays Providence on Friday at the Wooden Legacy.
- Ray Perone
- Terry Wymer
- Jeffrey Anderson