(1090 The Fan) — Sam Dower Jr. took just one second half shot. He made it count.

Dower Jr. hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining and his team trailing by one point to ultimately send Gonzaga to its ninth conference win, a 56-54 victory over Santa Clara, Wednesday night.

Gonzaga (19-3, 9-1) avoided its first loss to Santa Clara since 2001 despite trailing for much of the contest. The Broncos held as large as a 31-24 lead early in the second half, but a 11-0 Zags run propelled the team to a 35-31 lead with a little over 10 minutes to play.

Santa Clara (10-13, 3-7), though, continued to fight despite trailing 49-39 with 4:10 to play. Evan Roquemore hit two key three’s and Brandon Clark added three buckets, including the go-ahead basket to cap a 13-2 surge that put the Broncos in front 52-51 with 28 seconds left.

Both teams took timeouts to set up their respective teams for the final possession. The ball eventually came over to Dower Jr. who didn’t miss.

Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points, highlighted by three 3-pointers over a key stretch late in the second half to lead Gonzaga.

-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan

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