BYU Gets Close Victory over San Francisco


Feb 8, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; San Francisco Dons head coach Rex Walters watches game action during the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Haws scored 28 points as BYU held on in the second half to defeat San Francisco by a score of 78-74.  In a game that BYU led for the majority of the 40 minutes, the Cougars were never able to pull away from the Dons, as their lead never grew bigger than 8 points.  USF’s length and athleticism bothered BYU, as the Cougars shot just 40% from the field.  Among BYU players who shot more than two field goal attempts, all of them shot below 50% from the field.  Kyle Collinsworth missed a ton of layups, Chase Fischer and Skyler Halford couldn’t dial in from distance, so the Cougars shot 3/20 from beyond the arc.  Normally, BYU would lose when they have a shooting performance like that, but they still got enough stops down the stretch to get a close, ugly victory.

Anson Winder struggled for most of the game recovering from his knee injury, riding a stationary bike when he wasn’t in the game.  He literally came straight from the bike to the court when Dave Rose subbed him in, and I don’t believe he spent a second sitting the entire game.  Winder had a steal that stayed in bounds because it bounced off the referee that he grabbed and drove in for a fastbreak layup with 3:37 left.  He also had a clutch post move and key free throws in the final minute to seal the victory for the Cougars.

Haws carried BYU in the first 10 minutes of the game, and despite some cold shooting late, he still finished with 28 points on 9/20 shooting.  Corbin Kaufusi had a great game as the starter over Luke Worthington, contributing 5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.  When Kaufusi fouled out, Isaac Neilson came into the game for the first time and had a key layup and charge taken that kept BYU in the lead in the final minutes.

While not a pretty victory, BYU should be happy to end their two game losing streak ahead of the key game against Santa Clara on Saturday, where the Cougars have the opportunity to put major separation between themselves and the Broncos in the WCC standings.

USF Takes Positives away from Game Despite Close Loss, Missed Opportunities (By Mary Harvill)

USF played tough the entire game, avenging their 30 point loss earlier in the season to BYU at War Memorial gym. The Dons made BYU work for this win in front of their home fans who, at times, were stunned into silence by the amazing play of the Dons.

The depth and talent of this team was on display while in Provo. Matt Christiansen reaching a career high 13 points and 4 rebounds. Chris Adams dropped several clutch 3 point shots and finished the game with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist. Mark Tollefsen dazzled at the rim amassing 22 points and 7 rebounds. Matt Glover grabbed 10 key rebounds. Devin Watson had 10 points. Tim Derksen finished with a complete game of 9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Kruize Pinkins had 8 points for the game.

A dog fight to be sure, USF matched BYU’s dazzling baskets mano y mano with baskets of their own. The first half was a scoring seesaw closing out at 34-30 in favor of BYU.

USF set a blistering pace at the start of the second half and closed the scoring gap to 1 point game at 17:16. Then Rex Walters earned a technical foul putting Tyler Haws on the line for two easy free throws allowing BYU to pull ahead 40-38. BYU followed that up with a 7-0 run that gave them a 45-38 lead.

With Tim Derksen and Devin Watson racking up fouls, Coach Walters looked to the bench to step on the floor and make things happen. Matt Christianson answered the call as did Chris Adams with key points and key rebounds. Matt Glover fouled out with 1:15 remaining in the game.

A clock issue at 27.4 seconds delayed the game slightly while the officials added .2 seconds back to the game clock. Devin Watson fouled out after making a badly needed 2 point basket with 3 seconds left in the game bringing the Dons within 2 points of BYU 76-74. Watson went to the free throw line thanks to a foul on him by Anson Winder. Watson missed the free throw and left his 5th foul on BYU’s Anson Winder after the shot. Winder went to the line to secure 2 more points for BYU and the 78-74 win.

This game was another example of the strength and talent of the WCC top to bottom, as the talented USF squad drops to 3-7 in conference play.  USF will travel to San Diego for their game against the Toreros on Saturday, January 31, 2015.