San Francisco (15-9) at BYU (16-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Marriott Center (22,700) -- Provo, Utah. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: USF 11-5, BYU 11-1. Away Record: USF 4-4, BYU 3-7. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, BYU 2-1. Conference Record: USF 8-4, BYU 8-4. Series Record: BYU leads, 9-6.
GAME NOTES: Two teams tied for second place in the West Coast Conference standings get together in Provo tonight, as the BYU Cougars host the San Francisco Dons at the Marriott Center.
Both squads are listed at 8-4 in conference play leaving them, just like every other WCC program, behind nationally-ranked Gonzaga for the time being. On Thursday night, the Cougars powered their way to an 89-76 win over Santa Clara which wasn't even that close. The victory was the third straight for a team which is 11-1 at home, with the lone setback coming against nationally-ranked Iowa State by a mere two points, 90-88, back in November.
Meanwhile, the Dons were also in action two nights ago, the first of three straight road dates, and came away with a 74-67 win over San Diego. The victory was the fourth in five games for a team that has a trip to Santa Clara coming up next weekend.
BYU won the first meeting of the season last month in California by a score of 83-76, thanks to Kyle Collinsworth who paced five players in double figures with his 19 points for the visitors. Cole Dickerson generated a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Dons in defeat.
With the victory, the Cougars extended their lead in the all-time series to 9-6 over USF.
The Dons survived 6-of-24 shooting behind the 3-point line on Thursday night, as well as a dismal 10-of-21 showing at the free-throw line, by hitting 50 percent from the field overall in the seven-point road win. Kruize Pinkins logged a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Dickerson led the offense overall with 21 points. Not to be outdone, Avry Holmes and Tim Derksen chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Dickerson and Holmes have been trading off as the leading scorer for the Dons since the middle of December, leaving the former with a team-best 14.5 ppg on 52.8 percent shooting from the floor, the latter posting 12.0 ppg. Dickerson is also first on the unit with 7.2 rpg, but his mere 50 percent effort at the free-throw line leaves a lot to be desired for a program that comes in at only 65.9 percent on the season.
Now eighth on the all-time scoring list at BYU, Tyler Haws led four players in double figures as he tallied a game-high 27 points in 28 minutes in the win over visiting Santa Clara. Collinsworth contributed another 18 points, followed by Eric Mika with a double-double consisting of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Skyler Halford responded with 12 points, six boards and four assists. More than anything else, the Cougars crushed the Broncos at the free- throw line, 31-13.
Haws has now scored in double figures in 38 straight games for the Cougars, thanks to his 16th game of the season with at least 20 points. Shooting 46.6 percent from 3-point range and 88.0 percent at the charity stripe, Haws continues to be one of the most productive offensive forces in the nation with his 24.7 ppg. His efforts, along with those of Collinsworth (14.1 ppg), Matt Carlino (13.4 ppg) and Mika (13.0 ppg) have the Cougars settling in as one of the top scoring teams in the country at 87.4 ppg.
Dickerson is definitely a scoring threat that the Cougars must address, but San Francisco has to concern itself with far more than just Haws, considering how quickly BYU has been pushing the ball up the floor and forcing the issue this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 83, San Francisco 71
02/08 10:19:55 ET