BYU basketball: Season wraps up with exquisite performance at San Diego

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The Cougars wrapped up the regular season with a riveting game against the Toreros in San Diego, playing a hard-fought game.

Game MVP Tyler Haws attributes this high level of play and the team’s 78-70 win over San Diego to the team and the chemistry they have cultivated together.

Tyler Haws drives past San Diego's Chris Sarbaugh during the second half of the game on Saturday in San Diego. Photo courtesy AP Photo/Denis Poroy.
Tyler Haws drives past San Diego’s Chris Sarbaugh during the second half of the game on Saturday in San Diego. (Photo courtesy AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

“We are playing our best basketball at the right time of the year, and I think our chemistry is really where it needs to be right now,” Haws said. “I’m just excited now for the next few weeks. I’m proud of our guys and the way we finished off the regular season.”

Haws played a tough game, putting up 25 points and two 3-pointers, making big plays that ran the team to the forefront in the first half. Going into the second half BYU’s lead started to become threatened by San Diego’s Christopher Anderson, who became hot quickly, putting up 22 points. The Cougars were able to get it back with a rare three-point shot from Kyle Collinsworth and some key plays late in the game from Nate Austin to seal a win for the Cougars.

“If you have watched San Diego play this year you know that every game seems to be pretty close for them,” said head coach Dave Rose. “I think what it takes to win games like this for us is for our whole group of guys to play well. The way we won it was kind of on scramble plays.”

This win secures BYU’s spot as the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament, Gonzaga having secured the No. 1 spot with a win over Pacific on Thursday. With the way the Cougars have been playing, they are going into the conference stronger than ever, hoping to come out conference champs.

“These last regular-season games have meant a lot in our progression through each season, and it is something that the team should be really proud of,” Rose said. “Some really important things have happened to us this season, and they are important for us moving forward.”

Some unsung heroes have been the driving force for the team this season and for the end of the season in particular. Matt Carlino, Anson Winder, Collinsworth and Austin have all had big nights in the last couple of games and will all be considered for the starting lineup at the conference tournament, which starts March 6 in Las Vegas.

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