PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s basketball team continued West Coast Conference action as they beat Santa Clara 80-74, Saturday night in the Marriott Center.
"It was a hard-fought game and I’m happy for the win," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I told the guys at the end of the night there will be two teams in the league with three wins, one will be us. We got two big home wins and I look forward to taking this out on the road and see how we can do."
Childs led all scorers with 27 points while grabbing six rebounds. TJ Haws led both teams with eight assists coupled with 16 points and five rebounds. Worthington also reached double-digits, scoring a season-best 13 points while posting four rebounds.
The Cougars outshot the Broncos 49 percent to 45.1 and had 20 bench points compared to Santa Clara's 14. The Broncos outshot the Cougars in both the 3-point and free throw category.
The Cougars came out early with shots from Worthington and Haws followed by a 3-pointer from Childs to give BYU an early advantage at 7-0. Santa Clara quickly made up the difference, putting up six-straight points to bring the score to 7-6 with 15 minutes on the clock.
The two teams traded points and with the score tied at 15-all the Cougars went on a 15-2 run, making the score 30-17 with 6:34 on the clock. However, Santa Clara chipped away at BYU’s lead, putting up back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the score within two at 33-31 and under two minutes to go in the first half.
A Childs’ dunk put the Cougars ahead by four points before the Broncos connected on two free throws making the score 35-33 with 55 seconds left in the half. Childs made two baskets from the charity line followed by a 3-pointer from Harding with seconds remaining to give BYU a seven-point cushion at the half, 40-33.
Coming out of halftime, the Cougars maintained their lead, increasing it to double-digits after McKay Cannon hit a bucket from beyond the arc.
A free throw and a jumper from Childs gave BYU a 12-point advantage at 51-39 – its largest leads of the second half – with 14:58 left in the game.
The Broncos once again chipped away but Gavin Baxter scored five-straight points to put the Cougars ahead again by double-digits at 60-49.
With just over seven minutes to go in the second half, Santa Clara brought the score within five points at 64-59.
The Broncos continued to get the ball through the hoop, bringing the score within four points with just over two minutes to go at 74-70. With 1:33 left on the clock, Haws drained a 3-pointer from the right wing, giving BYU the edge at 77-71. BYU finished out the game shooting free throws and took the 80-74 win.
The Cougars now travel to Malibu, California, to take on Pepperdine on Thursday, Jan. 17. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. PST and will be broadcasted on ESPNU. Live radio coverage will be available on BYU Radio (Sirius EX 143/89.1), BYU Sports Network and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).