SAN DIEGO – Tyler Haws finished with a game-high 25 points to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to a 78-70 victory over San Diego on the road in its last conference game on Saturday. With the win, BYU clinches the No. 2 seed in the upcoming WCC Tournament in Las Vegas.
"One of the real issues is, answering the call when they put a run on you," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "They got a two-point lead, but our guys really responded well. We kept it a two-point game for a while and then we made a couple huge plays. We can go through about 10 or 15 different plays and tell you those plays had to be made or we weren't going to win."
Haws added three assists and a block, while Matt Carlino went for 14 points, four rebounds and six assists off the bench. Anson Winder scored all of his 11 points in the first half with Kyle Collinsworth finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Nate Austin finished with a near double-double, nine points and 10 rebounds, and went a perfect 5 of 5 from the charity stripe.
The Cougars (21-10, 13-5 WCC) and Toreros (16-15, 7-11 WCC) traded baskets early with BYU trailing 12-11 less than five minutes into the game. BYU answered with a 14-1 run that was ignited by Collinsworth's baseline jumper. Haws and Carlino each connected on a 3-pointer and Carlino’s feed to Haws on the fastbreak ended the run for the 25-13 lead at the 11:53 mark.
With 10:23 to go before the break, Mika’s offensive rebound and putback kept BYU’s lead at 12. After a San Diego basket, the Cougars used an 8-2 run to extend their lead to a game-high 16 at 35-19 with 5:19 remaining. USD went on an 8-0 run to make it an eight-point game, but was ended by Winder and Carlino’s 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. The Toreros ended the half with six-straight points and BYU led 41-33 at the break.
Haws led all players with 13 points, while Winder added 11 points, going 2 of 2 from beyond the arc. BYU finished the half with a 65.4 shooting percentage and held USD to 33.3 percent.
A 7-2 start in the second half by the Toreros brought them within one possession, cutting BYU’s lead to 43-40. After USD made it a one-point game, Skyler Halford drained a 3-pointer to put BYU back up 47-43 at the 14:00 mark. San Diego took a three-point lead, but was answered by a Carlino 3-pointer and two free throws by Nate Austin as the Cougars retook the lead at 52-50.
Collinsworth’s steal and assist led to a dunk by Haws on the other end for a four-point lead with 10:15 remaining. After a 6-0 run by San Diego, Haws scored on a jumper to tie the score at 58-all and Mika’s perfect trip to the free-throw line gave BYU a two-point lead at 60-58 with 6:48 to go. Those four points were part of an 11-2 BYU run that also included an Austin three-point play and a Haws bucket from beyond the arc to extend the Cougars’ lead to 67-60 with under three minutes left.
USD’s Chris Anderson’s fifth 3-pointer, brought the Toreros within two points with 2:02 remaining but Collinsworth answered with a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock for the 70-65 lead. Austin and Carlino combined to hit 3 of 4 from the free-throw line and Haws scored on a layup to give the Cougars a double-digit lead at 75-65 with 0:36 remaining.
BYU shot 51.9 percent from the field while holding the Toreros to a 43.1 shooting percentage. The Cougars also outrebounded USD 34-29.
The Cougars enter the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas on March 6-11 on a four-game winning streak and as the second seed. BYU's quarterfinal game on Saturday will be televised live on BYUtv or ESPN2 and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.