Tonight marks the 26th meeting between the BYU Cougars and the Santa Clara Broncos. The first game was played in 1951 and will continue for as long as the two teams are in the WCC. BYU leads the series 20-5 and won both games last season and the first game this season. This will be the second meeting this season and the Broncos are looking to get revenge after losing at home in January.
Santa Clara, CA 2014 (20-5)
Riding a four game win streak, the Cougars went into Santa Clara and knocked of the Broncos behind a near double-double by Matt Carlino. With 15 points and nine assists, Carlino came off the bench and sparked the team to victory. Kyle Collinsworth added 18 points, seven rebounds, fours assists and three steals. With Haws sitting for all but one minute in the first half, Anson Winder came in and scored 16 points. The final score of 91-81 was not indicative of how BYU controlled the game as they held the Broncos to 30 first half points and held a 24 point lead at one point.
Provo, UT 2013 (19-5)
Less than a month after the first meeting, the Cougars again rode a second half run to beat the Broncos. The two teams played close in the first half as they both went on small runs before allowing the other team to catch up. With less than a minute left in the first half, Brandon Davies hit two free-throws to give the Cougars the one-point lead at the half. BYU came out of the locker room strong and quickly went on a 14-1 run. At one point the Cougars built a 23 point lead and came out with a 96-79 win. Matt Carlino led all scorers with 28 points while Haws added 24 and Davies added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
After splitting their four game road trip the Cougars came home and took care of business in their last two games. The Cougars are improving in a number of areas and are looking good when playing teams on their own floor. Even improvements were made in their loses to Portland and Gonzaga. The time for learning is over but the execution will need to continue to improve in order to make a run in the last part of conference play.
Against Saint Mary's the Cougars took advantage of a better three point shooting and better free throw shooting to work themselves back into a game that looked lost. One of the surprise stats of the game was Collinsworth's 80 percent free throw shooting on 10 free throw attempts. The Cougars also were able to out-rebound the Gaels which led to some very important second chance points.
It seems that each week the Cougars allow a role player to put up some numbers and make a name for themselves. Against Saint Mary's they didn't allow a roll player to do it, but they couldn't find much success in stopping the star Waldow. Giving up 25 points and a lot of ground led to domination inside. Worthington came in and played physical but fouled out after only 10 minutes of play. The Cougars will need to find a way to stop individual players in order to continue winning, even at home.
The Keys to Watch
When Santa Clara has the ball: Watch for the Broncos to try speed up their offense a little as they are scoring 71 points per game but are on a six game losing streak. Their two leading scorers have evened out a bit as Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge both average just under 17 points a game. Brownridge had a great game last time out when he scored 30 points and so look for the Broncos to go back to this option. Clark still ended the game with 20 points and so he will be a great second option for Santa Clara. Watch for the Cougars to game plan against these two. The rest of the team scored a combined 31 points and seemed to be very little of a threat. If the Cougars can shut down the Broncos big guns, the game could get ugly quickly.
When BYU has the ball: Watch for the Cougars to continue to feed the ball to Haws and see what he can do against this team in more minutes. While only playing the second half, he managed 16 points. The last time the teams met, Collinsworth and Mika were in foul trouble and so look for them to learn from this and manage their fouls better this time around. Watch for Santa Clara to try and start physical and to get the Cougar stars into foul trouble and sitting on the bench. Watch for them to push the shooters out a little more as the Cougars shot over 61 percent last game and the Broncos don't want to allow that again. The Cougars will also look to take advantage of the offensive rebounds as they will have the size advantage and want the second chance points.
The Broadcasting Details
Time: 9 pm MST
Where: Marriott Center-Provo, Utah
Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143
Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here
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