Santa Clara, Calif. • Shorthanded themselves last week without the services of an injured Eric Mika, the BYU Cougars faced another team that was not at full strength on Saturday night.
Santa Clara did not play two starters, guard Evan Roquemore and forward John McArthur, due to “failure to uphold academic responsibilities.”
Roquemore is averaging 11.6 points and 3.5 assists per game, while McArthur is averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
McArthur was on the bench, but not dressed, while Roquemore was not at the game “due to a violation of team rules,” according to Santa Clara’s pre-game news release.
BYU’s Tyler Haws, the leading scorer in the West Coast Conference, sat out most of the first half, but not for anything he did off the court.
Haws picked up two quick fouls in the first minute of the game, before either team had scored, and headed to the bench.
The Cougars stayed in the Bay Area after defeating San Francisco 83-76 on Thursday night, but switched hotels and moved closer to Santa Clara’s campus.
However, BYU was able to practice at the Golden State Warriors’ practice facility in downtown Oakland, so they took a bus ride across the Bay Bridge on Friday morning.
The building was available because Golden State played at Oklahoma City on Friday night, giving up a career-high 54 points to Kevin Durant in the 127-121 loss.
With classes not yet in session at Santa Clara, the crowd at the Leavey Center was seemingly split evenly between BYU and Santa Clara fans.
That’s usually the case when BYU visits SCU, due to a large population of LDS Church members in the Bay Area.
The Broncos were averaging just 1,076 fans through their first 10 games, lowest in the WCC.
Saturday’s game featured the league’s two top scorers — BYU’s Haws (21.5 ppg.) and SCU’s Brandon Clark (20.7 ppg.). … BYU’s Matt Carlino made a 3-point play with seven minutes remaining in the first half, giving him exactly 1,000 career points. He is the 46th player in BYU history to score more than 1,000. … Haws entered the game with an 88.8 career percentage from the free-throw line, the best in school history.