PROVO, Utah – Three Cougars scored 20 points or more, aiding the No. 23 BYU men’s basketball team in the 85-75 win over West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara, extending the win streak to seven games, Thursday night in the Marriott Center.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team. I am so happy," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "It’s the first time ever in BYU history that we have won seven games in a row in this conference. That shows how hard it is. The guys battled and figured it out. It was a much different defensive game plan against us then we are used to, but they managed to figure it out.”
TJ Haws led the Cougars with 28 points while dishing out nine assists. Yoeli Childs and Jake Toolson both recorded double-doubles, Childs put up 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Toolson tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds.
With both teams off to a slow start in the first half, Haws and Toolson led the Cougars (22-7, 11-3 WCC) to an early 8-4 lead over the Broncos (18-10, 5-8 WCC). Kolby Lee landed the first trey of the game seven minutes into the half, extending the lead to 11-6. The Cougars took a 9-0 run with baskets from Childs and Haws, putting BYU up 11 points at 17-6 over Santa Clara.
BYU traded baskets with the Broncos but maintained a lead of 10 points at 27-17 with seven minutes remaining in the half. Haws fed the ball down court to Childs where he laid it in, extending the Cougar lead to 38-26. BYU went into the break leading Santa Clara 40-30.
The Broncos came into the second half hot, going on an 8-2 run and coming within two points at 42-40. The Cougars turned it up on defense and held Santa Clara scoreless for just under three minutes. The Broncos took their first lead at 49-47 off a 3 before Haws quickly tied it up with a jump shot in the paint.
Made jumpers from Haws on consecutive possessions gave the Cougars the advantage at 62-60 with 7:40 left in the game. Shots from Toolson and Haws extended the lead to 72-66 for BYU. With back-to-back baskets from Haws and a trey from Childs, the Cougars pulled away 81-72 with one-minute remaining. BYU closed out the game with an 85-75 win.
The Cougars remain at the Marriott Center for the final home game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 22. The game against Gonzaga will tipoff at 8 p.m. MST and will be televised live on ESPN2. Audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.