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Gonzaga gradually chipped away, then used an 8-1 spurt to cut it to 61-59 with 6:17 left.
Santa Clara's quick start in the second half prompted Gonzaga coach Mark Few to call a timeout, which the officials did not hear at first because of the crowd noise.
The Broncos got their fans involved early, grabbing the lead from the start. Gonzaga made a run and Santa Clara answered, building a double-digit advantage by capitalizing on 12 Bulldogs turnovers in the first half.
Raymond Cowels hit a 3-pointer from the corner to give Santa Clara a 31-21 lead with just more than four minutes left in the opening half. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 38-33 by halftime.
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