The BYU men’s basketball team bounced back to give the San Diego Toreros their first loss in conference play in a 74–57 victory Saturday night in the Marriott Center.
The win over the Toreros also gave BYU Head Coach Dave Rose his 200th career win. Rose joined Stan Watts as the only other coach in BYU men’s basketball history to reach 200 wins.
“There are so many people responsible for the wins,” Rose said. “I think it’s interesting that one guy gets all the credit for that because I’ve had so many great coaches, and the players have been terrific and committed. I care way more about the players who have been here, the teams and the chemistry than about the wins.”
Following their Saturday night victory, the Cougars own a 15–5 overall record and a 5–1 record in the WCC while the Toreros have a 11–9 overall record and a 4–1 record in conference play.
Tyler Haws finished with a game-high 25 points, Brandon Davies added 17 points, and on 7–12 shooting, and Matt Carlino added 11 points, six assists and three steals. Brock Zylstra also helped score 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Nate Austin grabbed a game-high nine rebounds coming off the bench.
“I’m really happy for our players,” Rose said. “It was a hard-fought game. We were good from the start, and we had to overcome quite a few challenges. We had foul trouble, and we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from the perimeter. But I thought we guarded well, I thought we rebounded well, and I thought we got a lot of help from a lot of different guys.”
BYU looked to come back stronger after a heartbreaking loss to St. Mary’s. And they succeeded, holding USD to 36.7 percent shooting and out-rebounding the Toreros 44–29.
“It was good to bounce back like that after losing a heartbreaker,” Zylstra said. “Coach said the character of a team is how fast you can get back up after you’ve been hit.”
Despite its bounce-back victory over the Toreros, BYU isn’t satisfied with one win.
“After the game today we celebrated a little bit in the locker room,” Davies said. “It’s a big deal for coach (200 career wins), and we’re all proud of him, but at the same time, we got a lot more games to play.”
This week will be a tough challenge for BYU as it takes on #8 Gonzaga (17–2, 4–0 WCC) and Portland (8–12, 1–4 WCC) on the road.
“We have to focus and get these road wins,” Davies said. “They’re tough to get away from home, and it’s a big deal. If we can get these wins in conference on the road, it does nothing but help the season. We just have to play our game and do our best.”
Rose had a lot of praise for Gonzaga and is looking forward to the challenge.
“They’re a really talented team,” Rose said. “They’re a deep group, can score inside, and really talented around the perimeter. It’s going to be a real challenge, and we’re going to be ready for them.”
BYU will hit the road to play Gonzaga on Thursday night at 8 p.m. PST at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will air live on ESPN2 and KSL radio.