BYU (12-7) at Santa Clara (10-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday. January 18, 10 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,500) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: CSN-Bay, Root NW. Home Record: BYU 8-1, Santa Clara 6-4. Away Record: BYU 2-4, Santa Clara 3-5. Neutral Record: BYU 2-2, Santa Clara 1-1. Conference Record: BYU 4-2, Santa Clara 3-4. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 19-5.
GAME NOTES: The high-powered BYU Cougars have made the trek to sunny California to take on the Santa Clara Broncos in a West Coast Conference battle at the Leavey Center.
The Cougars come into the contest as winners of four straight, the winning streak coming on the heels of a four-game skid. Most recently, BYU took care of San Francisco on the road this past Thursday, defeating the Dons in an 83-76 final.
Unlike the Cougars, the Broncos enter the game on a slide, having lost their last two games, and three of their last five overall. Last time out, Santa Clara fell at San Diego, 69-66, also on Thursday night.
Santa Clara leads the all-time series, 19-5, but BYU has won the last eight meetings, and nine of the last ten overall.
Led by 19 points from Kyle Collinsworth, the Cougars took down the San Francisco Dons a couple nights back. Skyler Halford added 18 points, Matt Carlino finished with 17, Tyler Haws 15 and Eric Mika chipped in with 11 for BYU. Trailing 37-34 at the break, the Cougars got hot from the field in the second half, connecting on 55 percent of their field goal tries. They also dominated at the charity stripe in the half, outscoring the Dons, 26-12, at the free-throw line. BYU took the lead for good on a Mika lay-up with 14:29 left to play, and was able to hold on from that point to secure the victory.
On the season, Haws (22.6 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 (87.1 ppg) and 14th in assists (16.8 apg), sitting at the top of the WCC in both of those categories. At the defensive end, they lead the conference and rank seventh in the country in rebounding (42.8 rpg) and hold opponents to just 31.8 percent from beyond the arc, second-best in the WCC. Carlino (14.6 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Collinsworth (13.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 5.3 apg) are filling 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 were happy to have Mika (13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg) back in the lineup for the San Francisco game after he missed the two previous games with a bruised hip.
In the loss to San Diego, Brandon Clark led the Broncos with 21 points, Jared Brownridge scored 19, Jerry Brown had 11 points and Even Roquemore tallied 10. The Broncos took a 32-28 lead into the intermission after they shot 44 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. After intermission, San Diego heated up to drain 61.9 percent of its shots from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3- point range, while holding Santa Clara to just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Trailing by three in the final seconds, Roquemore missed a potentially game- tying 3-pointer as time expired.
Santa Clara has been outshot by its opponents from the field this season, 43.3 percent to 46.0 percent, but has a +2.2 ppg advantage in part because it shines from distance, as they average 7.6 3-pointers per contest, knocking them down at a 39.6 percent clip. Clark (17.6 ppg) has drained 38 treys at 38 percent, while Brownridge (16.0 ppg) has been even more effective from long range 45.6 percent. Roquemore rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.6 ppg, but he struggles from the field, shooting just 35.4 percent.
Although the Broncos have been able to make up for some offensive deficiencies with their 3-point shooting, in the Cougars they come up against a team that can defend the perimeter, rebound underneath and put up plenty of points. Expect BYU to continue its winning ways and hand Santa Clara its third straight defeat.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 82, Santa Clara 70
01/18 10:30:35 ET