In eight years as BYU head coach, Dave Rose has never lost five games in a row. Thanks to some great play from SLCC transfer Skyler Halford, that record can continue, as BYU beat San Diego tonight in the Marriott Center. Dave Rose decided to sit star point guard Matt Carlino in favor of Skyler Halford and it paid off as Halford netted 28 points while shooting 68% from the field. BYU as a whole improved their shooting and defense (perhaps getting some help from the home crowd and familiar feel of the Marriott Center,) they shot 53% and did not allow any of the Toreros to get more than 10 points.
The game started close and intense tied at 17 with just under 10 minutes left in the first. Then Skyler Halford hit his first three of the night and it was all downhill from there. BYU led by 20 at the half and out scored San Diego by 16 in the second half for a 87-53 victory. As Skyler caught on fire in the first half, those around him came to life as well; the starting five shot 62.8% from the field and four of them scored in double digits.
Skyler was aided by Tyler Haws who scored 17 points and Eric Mika who got 13. Mika however played limited minutes as he got injured early in the game going airborne and getting San Diego guard Johnny Dee under him. Mika was evaluated and returned to the game with a hip contusion, but was limited getting just three rebounds and only taking seven shots. Kyle Collinsworth not only scored 12 but dished out eight assists, filling in the distribution role that Carlino has done in the past.
BYU is not only glad for a win, but also glad to not be seeing San Diego again until March as the final match up on their conference schedule. Last year the Toreros were able to beat BYU twice behind 44 points (25 and 19) from Johnny Dee and keeping the Cougars under 70 points. It was reversed tonight as Dee only got 9 points and it was the Cougars limiting the Toreros points holding them to under 35% on the night.
BYU is looking to make a home streak with two more home games next week (Pepperdine and LMU) before hitting the road again on January 16th (at San Francisco). Tonight's win brings BYU to 1-2 in the Conference and 9-7 on the year. There's still a lot of basketball to be played this year and with budding stars like Halford coming through, BYU fans can take hope in the future.
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