While Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s were preparing for the big dance, two other WCC schools were preparing for, well, some smaller dances. It’s time to pay homeage to these two teams that made a postseason tournament, because that’s a tough thing to do.
The Cougars advanced to the Second Round of the NIT after beating the Washington Huskies last Tuesday by a score of 90-79. BYU’s offense was clicking on all cylinders, especially in the second half where they scored 57 points. Dynamic scorer Tyler Haws had 37 and Brandon Davies had 22 points in the victory. All in all, it was a fantastic outing for the Cougars, who showed Washington just how challenging it was to win in the Marriott Center.
Thankfully for BYU, they play another game in Provo against the Mercer Bears in their second round matchup. Mercer is a 3 seed in the field and the Atlantic Sun regular season champions, over this year’s NCAA tournament Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast. The two Mercer guards, Travis Smith and Langston Hall, are the Bears leading scorers at 13.5 ppg and 11.0 ppg respectively. Smith’s 25 points against Tennessee was a huge reason for the Bears upset of the Vols in the 1st round of the NIT on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how BYU guards Matt Carlino and Tyler Haws matchup with the Bears backcourt.
Game Info: Mercer @ BYU, Monday, Mar. 25th, 9pm ET. Marriott Center.
Marc Trasolini and Kevin Foster paved the way for the Broncos against the Vermont Catamounts in a 77-67 win. Foster and Trasolini had 23 and 20 points respectively in their first round game, and scored with relative ease, as they both shot over 50% from the field. After being tied at half time, the broncos outscored the Catamounts 50-40 to knock out them out of the field.
The Broncos will travel to West-Lafayette to take on Purdue in the second round of the CBI. Santa Clara will need to crash the glass very heavily in this contest, considering the Boilermakers are 12th in the nation in rebounding. Foster, Trasolini, and Roquemore will need to be playmakers in order for the Broncos to come away with a victory on Monday. If the aforementioned players fail to do this, it could be a long day against a more physical Purdue team. Santa Clara is without a question the underdog here, but if Foster is making shots and Roquemore is distributing the basketball with ease, there is no reason why the Broncos can’t advance to the next round of the CBI.
Game Info: Santa Clara @ Purdue, Monday, Mar. 25th, 7pm ET. Mackey Arena.