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Tonight: BYU hosts Gonzaga in pivotal battle

Published February 2, 2012 8:09 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • BYU could help its chances of earning an NCAA basketball tournament with a victory Thursday night against highly-regarded Gonzaga in the Marriott Center.

The 9 p.m. nationally televised West Coast Conference game on ESPN2 should draw a sellout crowd.

Gonzaga, ranked 24th in the country, brings a 17-3 overall record and 7-1 league mark into the game. The Bulldogs trail St. Mary's in the league standings.

BYU is 18-6 overall and 6-3 in conference play, where the Cougars are tied for third with Loyola-Marymount. BYU has recent home league losses to St. Mary's and Loyola-Marymount, making getting a victory over Gonzaga important for seeding in the conference tournament as well as a chance to play in the NCAA tournament.

BYU is led by Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies. Gonzaga features a balanced attack led by Elias Harris, Kevin Pangos and Robert Sacre.