Notes and quotes from BYU's 78-70 win over San Diego
Perhaps big Nate Austin said it best: "It was a game that we had to win, and we got it done."
With their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes hanging in the balance, the Cougars pulled out a 78-70 win at San Diego on Saturday afternoon, clinching the WCC's second seed in the process.
As Kyle Collinsworth said, it was a "weird" game, played in front of 3,889 fans at 5,000-seat Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Cougars jumped to a 16-point lead in the first half, and then an intentional foul called on Skyler Halford changed the momentum.<
USD's Chris Anderson caught fire in the second half, and the Cougars had a game on their hands.
"I think in the end we just wanted it a little bit more than they did. I think at the start of that second half, they had a little bit more toughness, a little more energy, but at the end of the game we felt good," Austin said.
With 10:42 remaining and USD leading 50-47, Austin was involved in one of the game's wackier plays — that turned out to be a five-point play for the Cougars.
While Matt Carlino was hitting a 3-pointer, Austin was getting plowed by USD's Simi Fajemisin. Austin made the two free-throws, and when Tyler Haws got a dunk on a rare fast break, BYU led 54-50.
Austin's description: "Matt was shooting and I was running in for the rebound and No. 25, Simi, just drills me. He is a big dude, and he drills me. I fall back, and luckily the ref saw that one and gave us the call, and I made the free throws."
Austin was asked whether he flopped.
"No, he drilled me," Austin said. "I was kinda surprised at how hard he hit me. No, there was no flop on that one."
Couple of notes from the game:
* Tyler Haws had 25 points on 11 of 20 shooting, and made a huge 3-pointer with 3:45 left to give BYU a 66-60 lead.
It was Haws' 100th career game. He passéd Fred Roberts for sixth on BYU's career scoring list and now has 1,855 points. Up next is Russell Larson (1,885 points).
Haws has scored in double figures in 44 straight games, the fourth-longest streak in BYU history (tied with Larson and Jeff Chatman). It was the 47th 20-point game of Haws' career, 18th this season.