Looking to sweep the Santa Clara Broncos in the regular season, the BYU Cougars used a strong second half to finish in style. The Cougars received unexpected help from a number of players as Coach Rose decided to mix things up and not only started a different line-up, but also threw out a number of different line-ups during the game. Once again Corbin Kaufusi started in place of Luke Worthington and with Kyle Collinsworth nursing a bruised tailbone, it opened the door for a Dalton Nixon start. In a surprise move Chase Fischer sat out the tip-off as Skyler Halford got the start.
With Kaufusi in for the tip, the Cougars won the jump ball for the first time in WCC play, and in 12 total games. It looked like the game would start well for the Cougars as Anson Winder was fouled on a three point attempt, but ended up missing all three shots, a precursor to how the Cougars would shoot from the line. The Broncos would put the pressure on early as they took a quick 10-4 lead as BYU could only score four points in the first five minutes. Haws scored the first four for the Cougars and in doing so he hit a jump shot that pushed him past Danny Ainge for 2nd all time on the Cougars scoring list, second only to the great Jimmer.
After a media time-out the Cougars went on a quick 10-0 run to take a 16-12 run and found themselves in the bonus with over 12 minutes left in the game. Unfortunately they continued to miss free throws or the game would have been put away much earlier. BYU would continue to pull away as they finished a 19-3 run and led 25-17. The Broncos were not ready to go away as they pulled back within five at half, 35-29.
BYU would make their intentions known early in the second half as Winder, Halford, and Winder again hit consecutive three pointers to quickly go up 52-38 and took the energy out of the Broncos. BYU continued to pour it on as they hit 15 three pointers in the game and dished out 17 assists as they built a 27 point lead before slowing the game down and finishing off Santa Clara 78-57.
Tyler Haws led all players with 21 points while Fischer add 18 from off the bench. Winder and Halford each added 13. In a surprise twist Isaac Neilson and Ryan Andrus led the team in rebounds as Neilson had nine and Andrus had eight. Halford led the team in assists with seven.
BYU will next travel to Malibu as they seek revenge against Pepperdine on Thursday, February 5th at 9 pm MST.