The BYU Cougars will travel to visit the San Francisco Dons on Thursday in what will mark the 21st meeting between the schools. The series was started in 1946 and BYU has won 14 of them. The Cougars will be looking to match the sweep from last year and make it two years in a row.
San Francisco, CA 2015 (99-68)
Led by the third triple-double of the year for Kyle Collinsworth, the Cougars went on the attack and came away with a dominant road victory. Collinsworth ended with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as Tyler Haws led all scorers with 22 points. Chase Fischer added 20 points as he hit six three pointers. After a quick start the Cougars never looked back as they led 30-12 with under 10 left in the half, and then 57-29 at halftime. In the 99-68 win the Cougars shot 60 percent from the field and an amazing 53.6 percent from the three point line.
Provo, UT 2016 (102-92)
On a night that defense was left in the locker room, a couple of Cougar freshman took control of the game and led the Cougars to victory. Although the Cougars were led by senior Chase Fischer who had 25 points, Nick Emery and Zac Seljaas both scored at least 20 points and hit key shots. The game was close throughout but the Cougars built a late 12 point lead. The Dons came back to within seven before ultimately falling 102-92. Fischer went 7-14 from behind the arc, Emery went 3-6, and Seljaas hit 6-10 in the victory.
Once again the Cougars failed to take advantage of a big win as they fell at home to Pacific. The Cougars looked completely off their game and disinterested. With a chance to stay in the conference race, and a possible NCAA berth, the Cougars failed to show up and dropped their first home game in 18 tries. With the Cougars all but out of the NCAA race, they will now need to focus on preparing for the conference tournament in hopes of earning the automatic bid.
The only bright spot of the game was Kyle Davis. Although he missed some key free throws, he kept the Cougars in the game. Shooting over 70% from the field and scoring 21 points allowed the Cougars to play down to the wire and have a chance in a game they really should have lost early.
Besides almost every aspect of the game going the Tigers way, the Cougars failed in a number of areas. Shooting only 34% from the field and dishing out only nine assists have to top that list. Not only did the team starters shoot poorly, but the bench didn't even contribute a point in the loss. The Cougars proved that they need more than just a few players to hit shots if the Cougars are going to win against any level of competition.
The Keys to Watch
When San Francisco has the ball:
Watch for the Dons to rely once again on sophomore guard Devin Watson and senior guard Tim Derksen. The two combined for 45 of the 92 points and 10 of the 16 assists in the last game. Watch for them to involve a few of the role players again as 33 points came from the bench. In this game watch for the offense to slow the tempo a bit as they tried to run with the Cougars and couldn't keep up. By limiting the possesions, they will be taking a page from the Pacific playbook and hope to stay in the game and come out with the win.
Watch for the Cougars to force the ball out of the hands of Watson as they try to prevent his shots and dishes. Watson does average almost three turnovers per game so the Cougars guards should be able to knock the ball away and create fast break opportunities after forcing 14 in the first game.
When BYU has the ball:
Watch for the Cougars to try and force their own tempo on the game and make it a shootout. The Cougars don't anticipate another poor shooting game so they will take their chances in running their offense as fast as normal. Watch for everyone to bet back on track and up their game on the road. The Cougars don't want to hold onto the ball and play half court, so they will continue to toss up any open shot, and even some that are not quite so open.
Watch for the Dons to focus on Collinsworth as he dominates every aspect of his game. Watch for them to keep him out of the paint as they try to minimize easy shots, push him out of position for rebounding, and collapsing on him as they try to force turnovers. Watch for the Dons to double up Collinsworth, but not leave anyone isolated. With help defense the Dons will hope to minimize the damage by the Cougars offense, hopefully keeping the game close and the others missing shots.
The Broadcasting Details
Time: 8 pm MST
Where: War Memorial Gym-San Francisco, CA
Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143
Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here