San Diego, blushing, hits hard, 80-57, in WCC quarter-final


Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

McKay Cannon (24), guard Brigham Young Cougars, is blocked by Finn Sullivan (23), Toreros goaltender, while BYU Cougars and San Diego Toreros play a WCC tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 9, 2019 .

LAS VEGAS – BYU, who lost 14 points in the second period, defeated San Diego in overtime last month. The Cougars led by no less than 20 people at home in a win over the Toreros last week.

Well, the USD has avenged these two regular season defeats – and still others – on Saturday night at the Orleans Arena.

The Toreros (seventh seeds) quickly took the lead, knocked out and humbled the Cougars (3rd), 80-57, in the quarter-finals of the West Coast Conference.

BYU, the school known for its sobriety, was simply cold as stone. The Cougars lost by 23 but it was actually much worse than that. San Diego led by 44 points in the middle of the second half.

"This was not a seventh ranked team," said BYU coach Dave Rose, about the USD. No, the Toreros did not play as a seventh seed. And the Pumas did not play like a third seed.

Yes, it was an abominable performance of BYU and it was one of those nights when the result was decided at halftime. Or maybe sooner.

"It's an excellent team run by seniors, we did not start as we wanted and they were attacked."

BYU before Luke Worthington

At intermission, the USD was leading with 27 points, 46-19, which is at least the first half of BYU.

Everything went well for the USD and nothing went well for BYU. The Toreros (21-13), who beat Portland in the first round on Thursday and Santa Clara in the second round on Friday, seemed comfortable and confident.

The Cougars (19-13) seemed out of sync, without answers.

"It's an excellent team led by senior citizens," said BYU striker Luke Worthington. "We did not go early as we wanted and they were in attack."

San Diego scored the first 13 points of the game, including three of Isaiah Wright's 3 points. Meanwhile, the Pumas stayed without scoring for more than five minutes to start the match.

"We had tough starts on both sides," Rose said.

Yoeli Childs finally won the BYU title on the board at 14:24 and scored six points in a row to reach the score of 13-6. But from there, the Pumas continued to dig a hole bigger and bigger. A cavernous hole.

After a childs dunk, BYU trailed 19-10. Then, the Toreros scored 13-1 to increase their lead to 32-11.

At half-time, the Couguars were 0 of 6 in the 3-point line, 7 of 14 in the free throw line and 6 of 24 in the field (25%).

USD was 5 of 13 out of 3 points, 9 of 10 from the free throw line and 16 of 30 from the field (53%).

As bad as it was for BYU, the situation got worse. After scoring two quick baskets to start the half, the Cougars suffered multiple empty possessions while San Diego saw his ball in the lead at 32.

Childs was whistled with a technical foul about 12 minutes from the end and he did not come back. He finished with 14 points.

BYU guard TJ Haws, who scored 61 points, including a career high of 35, against San Diego in their previous two games, had a 0-of-6 early in the game. For the night, Haws went 2 of 12 from the field and 0 out of 4 from 3 points and finished with 10 points.

Isaiah Pineiro of San Diego scored the highest point of the game with 27 points, with 8 of 14 players and 10 of 10 on the free throw line. Wright added 15 points and Finn Sullivan scored 17 points.

BYU swept San Diego in the regular season, going from a 14-point deficit in the second period to a 88-82 overtime win on Feb. 14 at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Cougars defeated the Toreros a week earlier at the Marriott Center, 87-73, in the regular season final.

BYU beat the USD in the quarterfinals of the conference last season.

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Before the Toreros win over Portland last Thursday in the first round, they had not won a WCC tournament match since defeating BYU in the quarterfinals in 2013.

San Diego will face No. 2 Saint Mary's in the WCC semi-finals on Monday night.

In the first quarter-finals of the night, Pepperdine, No. 8, beat No. 4 in San Francisco, 89-72, and will play No. 1 Gonzaga in the semifinals.

On February 21, the USF went from a 14-point deficit to beat BYU. The Donations have not won since, after losing four straight games.

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