The race was on at the Marriott Center with BYU basketball’s 102–92 win over San Francisco Saturday night.
Both teams played a fast-paced game allowing for BYU to have 81 possessions and USF 82 possessions.
Despite the pace, it was a 3-point game for the Cougars. Hitting 15 of their 30 3-point attempts, the Cougars earned 45 points from behind the arc. This is something BYU coach Dave Rose says USF always forces BYU to do when the teams meet — and luckily they dropped this time around.
BYU senior Chase Fischer led the team in scoring with 25 points, adding five 3s of his own.
“At halftime we had a little lead, but in the locker room it didn’t feel like that,” Fischer said. “They had us back on our heels a little bit and that second half they made a lot of shots to keep them in the game. … It was a good toughness win for us.”
BYU freshman forward Zac Seljaas came off the bench with a hot hand, scoring 20 points, and was able to stay in despite the smaller lineup. Rose said his bigger players, like senior Nate Austin and sophomore Corbin Kaufusi, struggled to defend USF’s Tim Derksen, who played a small forward for USF. But Seljaas was able to stay in (22 minutes) and help defend the four position.
“Going small can work for us, but Zac (Seljaas) making a lot of shots helps,” Fischer said.
While the Cougars were on fire behind the arc, Rose couldn’t stop talking about getting back to practice on Monday in the press conference following the game.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of our guys,” Rose said, but then later added. “There’s a lot of positive things that you take from this. We were able to play a different game with a different lineup and still be able to win, but we need to be better at the point of attack.”
Rose noted the team struggled on defense against USF and allowed too many offensive rebounds (12).
“I think this is the first game all year that we won when we got out rebounded,” Rose said.
Rose expressed how anxious he was to get to practice, especially as the Cougars take on Gonzaga in the Kennel next Thursday. He feels a sense of urgency to fix these problems, but seemed to doubt his team would have the same sense of urgency.
“The biggest concern for me is we’ll see how we respond in practice when we try to address this,” Rose said. “We’ll see if the guys are really urgent about this and being better.”