An all-around offensive team effort led the Cougars to an 80-74 win over Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Marriott Center.
“The fact that we were able to come home and win two games with that tough experience that we had,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said, “I think that’s a real positive energy builder for our group and we look forward to getting back here.”
Luke Worthington broke out of his shell to score 13 points, a new career high. He was 5-for-6 from the field along with shooting 3-for-4 at the free-throw line. On the defensive side, he contributed four rebounds and two steals.
“I was able to be in the right spot at the right time and put the ball in the basket,” Worthington said. “I was happy that we were able to click offensively. I really felt like tonight we were together on both ends of the floor the whole way through.”
Yoeli Childs had another great game and led the team with 27 points, shooting 52.9 percent from the field. He also contributed on the defensive side with six rebounds and two steals. This is the 12th game this season in which Childs has contributed 20 points or more, four of those being in the last five games.
TJ Haws put up 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and had two steals. Haws shot a quick 3-pointer with 1:33 left in the game to increase the Cougars’ lead 77-71 and give the the team the cushion it needed.
Both teams stayed close to one another throughout most of the game. The Cougars led the entire time, but Santa Clara never let the game get out of reach. The largest deficit was 12 points in the second half.
The matchup was a 3-point duel. The Cougars shot 42.1 percent from behind the 3-point line going 8-for-19. Childs and Haws had multiple 3-pointers while McKay Cannon, Connor Harding and Zac Seljaas each made a single shot from the 3-point line. The Broncos were 46 percent from the 3-point line, or 11-for-24.
“I told the guys at the end of the night that there would be two teams in the league with three wins and one would be us,” Rose said.
The Cougars are now 3-1 in conference play. They will travel to Malibu to take on the 2-2 Pepperdine Waves on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. MST.