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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 16, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,200) -- San Francisco, California. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: BYU 8-1, USF 8-3. Away Record: BYU 1-4, USF 3-4. Neutral Record: BYU 2-2, USF 0-0. Conference Record: BYU 3-2, USF 4-2. Series Record: BYU leads, 8-6.
GAME NOTES: Tyler Haws, the West Coast Conference's top scorer, will lead the BYU Cougars into battle against West Coast Conference foe San Francisco on Thursday night.
BYU has recovered from a rough stretch in December when it lost five of six games. The Cougars have won three straight since the calendar turned over, with a 91-68 rout of Loyola Marymount being the most recent. However, the Cougars, who are 1-4 away from home, are now venturing out for a four-game road trip, which continues against Santa Clara on Saturday.
San Francisco had also won three straight games before falling in an 88-73 decision to Saint Mary's last Saturday. The Dons are 11-7 overall and getting back to their home floor, where they have gone 8-3. Up next is another home date against San Diego.
These teams split the season series a year ago, with the road team coming out on top in each contest. The Cougars have won four of the last five meetings, and lead the all-time series by a count of 8-6.
Haws poured in 31 points by going 9-of-19 from the floor, and Kyle Collinsworth added 20 points and nine rebounds to help carry BYU past Loyola Marymount. The Cougars shot 50.9 percent from the field and scored 23 points off turnovers.
On the season, Haws (23.1 ppg) has been lighting up the scoreboard at an impressive rate, leading the WCC in scoring. His efforts have helped the Cougars rank fourth in the nation in scoring (87.3 ppg) and eighth in assists (17.4 apg). They also shoot a solid 46.7 percent from the floor and rank fifth in rebounds (43.6 rpg). Matt Carlino (14.4 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Collinsworth (13.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 5.6 apg) are each stuffing the stat sheet as well, with each ranked in the top five of the WCC in assists. Collinsworth is also second in the conference in rebounds. The Cougars could be without Eric Mika (13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg) for a third straight game as he is listed as questionable with a bruised hip.
San Francisco connected on 51 percent of its shots from the field against Saint Mary's, but was outscored from beyond the arc (33-15) and at the free- throw line (29-16). Avry Holmes scored a team-high 17 points in the losing effort.
Although they are not as potent as the Cougars, the Dons do well for themselves at the offensive end. They are fourth in the WCC in scoring (78.4 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (.483). Cole Dickerson (13.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) anchors the team from the interior, leading the team in scoring and rebounding. Dickerson finished with 16 points and six rebounds in the loss to Saint Mary's. Providing depth are Kruize Pinkins (11.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Mark Tollefsen (11.7 ppg) and Holmes (11.4 ppg), who are all averaging in double figures. Pinkins tallied 16 points and nine rebounds the last time out.
The litany of scorers on each side should make for a high-scoring bout. Haws and company will be able to keep up, but may not have enough juice to win this one on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 83, BYU 80
01/16 11:18:07 ET
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