In a game it absolutely had to win, the BYU Cougars basketball team did just that -- winning a tougher-than-necessary 85-74 West Coast Conference basketball tournament quarterfinal over Loyola Marymount on Saturday, March 8.
The Cougars had numerous chances to blow this game wide open and coast to victory at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas -- but couldn’t make a three-point shot if it wanted to.
BYU went 0-for-12 from behind the arc -- making for a very interesting semifinal match-up against San Francisco, winners over San Diego 69-60 earlier on Saturday.
The Dons held USD to just 37 percent shooting from the field -- and a respectable 32 percent from three to earn the right to play BYU in the semis.
The Cougars (21-10) stay alive in their quest to win a West Coast Conference tournament title with their win over Loyola Marymount.
Forward Kyle Collinsworth had a career-high 23 points and 16 rebounds to pace BYU -- while guard Tyler Haws added 22 points.
Next up for BYU is a good USF team in the semifinals and a potential matchup against Gonzaga in the championship game, so at this point BYU’s spot in the NCAA Tournament is anything but a guarantee.
In other BYU news, the Cougar women (25-5) marched toward a trip to the NCAA Tournament as they thumped Pepperdine 77-51 on Friday, March 7 to advance to the conference tournament semis.