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BYU basketball: Cougars slip past Loyola Marymount in WCC quarters

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.

BYU forward Kyle Collinsworth.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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.