Spokane, Wash. • BYU basketball players and their fans quickly learned when they joined the West Coast Conference three years ago that the league doesn’t come close to having the kinds of massive, packed arenas the Cougars competed in back in the Mountain West Conference.
Saturday, however, they got to play in a bona fide venue, one that was sold out and didn’t include hundreds of BYU fans, which is usually the case on the road for the Cougars in the WCC.
Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center, completed in November 2004 at a cost of approximately $25 million, celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall. Known as “The Kennel,” the MAC has a seating capacity of 6,000 for basketball games.
Gonzaga has sold out every game played in the building, which was funded by a couple of brothers from Salt Lake City, Tom and Phil McCarthey.
The McCarthey family once owned The Salt Lake Tribune and Tom McCarthey was once a reporter and editor at the newspaper.
Haws chasing Fredette
The last time Tyler Haws played at Gonzaga, he went 0 for 9 from the field and scored just one point — on a free throw late in the game.
The junior had 12 points in the first half alone on Saturday.
Haws’ 48-point performance at Portland on Thursday night on 17-of-34 shooting was not only the highest of his career and the third-highest in school history, it was the second time Haws has surpassed the 40-point plateau. He had 42 last year against Virginia Tech.
Jimmer Fredette did that four times, scoring a school-best 52 points against New Mexico in 2011, 49 against Arizona in 2009, 47 against Utah in 2011, 45 against TCU in 2010, 43 against San Diego State in 2011 and 42 against Colorado State in 2011.
Only the 43 against SDSU came at the Marriott Center.
Haws entered Saturday’s game at Gonzaga with 1,625 career points, 12th on the school’s all-time list. He needed 27 to catch Ken Roberts at No. 11.
Fredette finished his career in 2011 with 2,599 points.
After having played four straight road games, the Cougars will play their next four games at home, beginning Thursday night when they host WCC newcomer Pacific. Saturday’s game marked the halfway point of the WCC season, although the Cougars have already played Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount twice each and have yet to play Saint Mary’s and Pacific.