Despite blowing a first half 16 point lead, the BYU Cougars escaped Jenny Craig Pavilion with a 78 to 70 victory and clinched the second seed in the WCC tournament.
The Cougars leading scorer Tyler Haws came up big once again with 25 points. Nate Austin was one point away from recording a double-double, as the big man finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. Matt Carlino came off the bench and dished out six assists, a team-high. He also finished with 14 points. Anson Winder is continuing to shine in his new starter role, scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
Although the Toreros came up short, Christopher Anderson was electric. The junior point guard scored 22 points and shot 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, including some 3’s at some big moments in the game. Johnny Dee and Jito Kok were also able to finish in double-figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. Kok’s 10 rebounds combined with his 10 points were good for a double-double. Anderson’s 6 assists led USD this afternoon.
Keys to the Game Checklist
(X) Play at your pace
The game was pretty up-and-down the whole time, a pace which heavily favors BYU. The Toreros inability to slow the game down was possibly what did them when it was all said and done.
(Check) Matty Basketball
14 points and 6 assists. Not a bad outing from Carlino. Like USD’s Anderson, he hit some big 3’s in some big spots this afternoon.
Player of the Game
Maybe this is an unpopular pick, but Nate Austin is my player of the game. His 9 points and 10 rebounds were crucial for BYU tonight. Plus he went five for five from the free throw line, and nailed some freebies down the stretch to ice the game for the Cougars.
BYU is now officially the two seed in the WCC tournament, which starts on March 6th. San Diego can still move up to be the six seed, but the Toreros need Portland to lose at Pacific, a game that has already begun on thew.tv.
If you wish, you can watch the game right here at West Coast Convo. Here is the link to do so.