San Diego (15-17) vs. BYU (21-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 8, 11:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: USD 10-6, BYU 13-3. Away Record: USD 4-9, BYU 6-5. Neutral Record: USD 1-2, BYU 2-2. Conference Record: USD 7-9, BYU 10-6. Series Record: BYU leads, 6-1.
GAME NOTES: The third-seeded BYU Cougars will begin their postseason on Friday as they take on the No. 6 seeded San Diego Toreros in the quarterfinal round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
The winner of this game will advance to take on Saint Mary's in the semifinal round.
San Diego took down Pepperdine, 62-59, on Thursday in the second round to create this matchup. Johnny Dee scored 16 points to lead the way while Chris Anderson added 10 points and Chris Manresa had 11 boards and was a point shy of a double-double. During the regular season, the Toreros defeated BYU at home and nearly upset Gonzaga.
Dave Rose's Cougars lost a couple of tough games to Saint Mary's and Gonzaga before it ended its regular season with a 73-70 road win at Loyola Marymount. The WCC's leading scorer, Tyler Haws. poured in 24 points to help BYU slide past LMU. Haws nets 20.9 ppg and has pulled down six boards in each of his last three appearances.
BYU dominated the Toreros in the first meeting of the season last month, claiming a 74-57 victory at the Marriott Center in Provo. San Diego avenged its loss on Feb. 7 as it took down the Cougars, 74-68, at home.
USD boasts the third- ranked scoring defense in the WCC, holding foes to 66.5 ppg, but it doesn't have a scoring offense (65.0 ppg) capable enough of supporting it. Dee sneaks into the conference's top-10 in scoring with 14.6 ppg by draining 66 3- pointers at 37.6 percent clip. Rancifer nets 10.3 ppg, and Anderson (9.1 ppg) is among the league leaders in both assists (5.6 apg) and steals (2.1 spg)
Haws hit 14-of-14 from the free-throw line at LMU on March 2, his fourth game this season shooting 100 percent from the line, while attempting at least 10 free throws, a BYU single-season record. In addition to Haws's scoring presence from the perimeter, Brandon Davies (17.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg) muscles his way into the paint for the Cougars. Matt Carlino does a decent job of running the show and deals out 4.4 assists per tilt. BYU is ranked 19th in the nation in scoring offense (76.7 ppg) and 21st in assists (15.7).
Dave Rose's Cougars will not be overlooking USD as they did in early February. Haws is a big-time player more than capable of leading BYU to the championship game. USD needs to have a lights-out performance from beyond the arc to stay in the hunt of the conference tournament title.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 73, San Diego 66
03/08 10:34:38 ET