BYU (18-6) at San Diego (12-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: BYU 11-1, USD 8-4. Away Record: BYU 5-3, USD 4-6. Neutral Record: BYU 2-2, USD 0-2. Conference Record: BYU 8-2, USD 5-4. Series Record: BYU leads, 6-0.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros try to follow up a thrilling win on Monday night with another positive outing on Thursday, as they welcome the BYU Cougars for a West Coast Conference battle at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The Toreros had to go to overtime three nights ago against Loyola Marymount on the road in Los Angeles, but the added action paid off as Christopher Anderson delivered the game-winning layup with just 0.2 seconds remaining in order to give the visitors the 69-68 triumph. The victory snapped a four-game slide for USD and came just two days after barely being beaten by nationally-ranked Gonzaga (65-63) at home.
As for the Cougars, they are one of three teams in the WCC with at least eight league victories at this stage, as they trail only Gonzaga and Saint Mary's-CA in the standings. BYU is enjoying a three-game win streak at the moment, thanks to a 96-79 romp over Santa Clara last Saturday, completing the season sweep of the Broncos by winning both matchups by a combined 35 points.
BYU dominated the Toreros in the first meeting of the season last month, claiming a 74-57 victory at the Marriott Center in Provo. With the win, the Cougars now lead the all-time series by a 6-0 margin.
Against Santa Clara, Matt Carlino erupted for 28 points and six assists, followed by Tyler Haws with yet another 20-point-plus performance as he dropped in 24 on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. Brandon Davies tacked on 16 points and also cleared 11 rebounds, as the Cougars won the battle on the boards by a 41-33 margin. Josh Sharp accounted for 14 points off the bench for BYU, as the team shot an impressive 58.3 percent from the field overall, but a lackluster 21-of-32 (.656) at the charity stripe. One of the top scorers in the WCC at the moment, Haws is putting up 20.7 ppg, thanks in large part to his efforts at the free-throw line (112-of-129), while Davies (17.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg) has also been a fixture at the stripe (113-of-169), but not nearly as accurate for a team that is scoring 78.0 ppg this season and giving up 67.7 ppg.
Anderson finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Toreros, while Johnny Dee logged a team-best 15 points on Monday night as the squad slipped by Loyola Marymount on the road. Also in double figures for the visitors were Chris Manresa and Ken Rancifer with 12 and 11 points, respectively, as the team survived just 14-of-25 shooting at the free-throw line as they fought through 15 ties and 19 lead changes. Dee, the leading scorer for the Toreros on the season with 14.7 ppg, is currently listed as probable for this game due to an ankle injury and if he is unable to make a go of it that will mean the team will have not a single double-digit scorer in the lineup. Rancifer and Anderson are both coming in at about 9.5 ppg, the latter responsible for 131 assists and 50 steals, which indicates he might be focusing more on other aspects of his game, even though he did hit the game- winner a few nights back.
San Diego has shown quite a bit of spunk recently, but perhaps those close calls against both Gonzaga and LMU have drained some of the life out of the Toreros, energy that they would need in order to take out the Cougars.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 76, San Diego 68
02/07 10:31:36 ET